Monday - Saturday: 19.30, plus Saturday matinees 15.00
Wednesday matinees on 4 April, 11th April and 18th April 15.00
Best £26 (£22 previews)
Standard £22 (£19 previews);Value £15; Restricted £12
Arcola Passport holders go free
Pay What You Can (Tuesday evenings - limited availability)
About the event
Great Apes is a new play by Patrick Marmion directed by RSC and Donmar actor Oscar Pearce (Wolf Hall, Real Thing), based on the novel by Will Self. It is a raucous, surreal modern satire that mixes Self’s famously rich language with subtle simian movement and vocalisations to create a theatrical ‘Planet of the Apes’ crossed with ‘Gulliver’s Travels’.
When Turner Prize winning artist Simon Dykes wakes up one morning after a wild night out, he finds his world has changed beyond recognition. His girlfriend, Sarah, has turned into a chimpanzee. And, to Simon's horror, so has the rest of humanity.
Suffering a nervous breakdown Simon is immediately taken to Charing Cross hospital where he’s treated for being under the psychotic delusion that he’s a human being. Here he comes under the care of charismatic and controversial chimp psychiatrist, Dr Zack Busner who helps Simon come to terms with his condition.
‘Where better for him to re-learn his essential chimpunity than by brachiating in the fresh air or Hampstead Heath with all the pansexual mating opportunities that affords?’
Great Apes is a hilarious, uncanny and unnervingly original take on humanity’s place in the evolutionary chain. It is a modern odyssey into the abiding mystery of what it means to be a human being.
Since its publication by Bloomsbury in 1997 at the height of the YBA explosion and Cool Britannia, Will Self’s novel remains an extraordinary intellectual vision, a linguistic feast and a disturbing triumph of the imagination.