Past Commissions

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The Empty Hand... by Daniel Morden

For this, the second 3Monkeys commission, Daniel Morden is creating a 1-hour solo show, for adult audiences, working with a pair of grown-up fairytales.


We’re great admirers of Daniel Morden's public performance work - with Hugh Lupton, The Devil's Violin Company and various musicians - and we wanted to give him the opportunity to work as a solo performer once again, and to give audiences a chance to experience this aspect of his work.

The only restriction we placed on Daniel when selecting stories for the commission was that it shouldn't be Greek mythology, as while we love his work with Greek myths, we wanted him to work with something different. We also suggested Daniel use the commission to explore movement in performance, and teamed him up with movement director Robin Guiver (whose work includes puppeteering one of the War Horse horses in the National Theatre's acclaimed production)


The result of the commission is 'The Empty Hand', which was previewed at an early stage of development in front of an invited audience, and which premiered to a sell-out public audience at The Soho Theatre on the 18th of December 2012. The piece started life as a pair of wondertales (fairytales), linked by their motifs and imagery. The end result was a cleverly structured and beautiful piece of composition; balancing morality, humour and metaphor to great effect. The Empty Hand poses the questions: What if the one you loved was taken from you? How far would you go to find them?



Since the premiere, the show has graced stages at Sydney Writers Festival (Australia) and Poetry on the Border (Chepstow). Because the show is best suited to storytelling and literature festival contexts, instead of producing paper based publicity, Daniel has worked with designers to create a website to promote the show.

The commission of The Empty Hand is supported by Arts Council England. 

Daniel Morden