Past Commissions

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The King & the Corpse, by TUUP & Sheema Mukherjee

3monkeys is managing the artist-led development of The King & the Corpse by performance storyteller TUUP, accompanied by internationally renowned sitar player Sheema Mukherjee


We were delighted when TUUP approached us after a try-out showing of The King & the Corpse at the Crick Crack Club at the Soho Theatre, to ask if we would support him to develop this show into a tour-ready piece of work. We worked with him to make an application to Arts Council England to undertake a development process for the piece that involves a series of performances in front of live audiences – some in theatres, some in storytelling clubs.

TUUP’s creativity relies on a high degree of improvisation and inevitably it therefore required an engagement between audience and artist to try out and test what does and doesn’t work. Most artists take new work to audiences at some point before it premieres – and this is why scratch performances (or whatever you prefer to call them) can be so important. TUUP’s approach of a series of developmental shows was an extension of this. In some cases the audience didn't know that these were developmental shows, in some cases they did. It also gave TUUP and Sheema a chance to explore how a variety of different audiences in different types of venue and contexts responded to the show, which has informed future touring.


A king is obliged to carry the corpse of a hanged man on his back – but the corpse is not dead, it is possessed by a storytelling vampire, whose enigmatic puzzles threaten to burst the King’s head into a thousand pieces…

With customary charismatic style, The Unorthodox, Unprecedented, Preacher – TUUP - takes to the stage with sitar virtuoso, Sheema Mukherjee, to tell transglobalised versions of these stunning, 2,000 year old tales. As much an encounter as a performance, this formidable collaboration by two core members the wild world music collective Transglobal Underground, brings an 11th Century Indian fairytale to the contemporary stage.


The King & the Corpse - Beyond the Border Festival 2012