It's rubbish being skint. I wanted to see this so much but it just didn't happen...Monkey: Journey to the West is the 400 year old Chinese tale (and 70s TV show) of the Monkey King adapted by Shi-zheng, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett in to a circus opera, here's a very brief synopsis:
Monkey hatches from a stone egg and becomes obsessed with immortality, so he travels the world to find a teacher. He finds Subodhi in the Mountain of Heart and Mind, who gives him the name Sun Wu Kong - the Monkey with the Realisation of Emptiness. He then dives into the Eastern Sea and finds the Crystal Palace of the Old Dragon King, where he is given a magical iron rod, and for some reason the Old Dragon King gives him his helmet, armour and shoes. Monkey then decides to go to heaven to demand recognition of his new power. There he finds seven fairies preparing a banquet for the birthday of the Queen Mother of Heaven. Upset he's not on the glist, he eats Queen Mother's magical heavenly peaches, and fights off everyone who tries to stop him. The Queen Mother then calls Buddha up to deal with Monkey, and Buddha challenges Monkey with escaping his palm - Monkey can't and gets imprisoned for 500 years until a young monk called Tripitaka is sent to bring back the Holy Scriptures from India. Monkey is sent to go with him (and Pigsy, Sandy and the crew from the 70s TV show) and the adventures begin...
It was on at the Royal Opera House this week and looks amazing...I was completely enamoured with it until I saw this?!!!
I don't get too in to politics on this blog, but Damon Albarn was the last person I ever thought I would see making a trailer for the Beijing Olympics, especially not using a story that is a 'quest for enlightenment'! If you're still not quite sure what the big fuss is about please check out what Human Right's Watch have to say about it - all I'm saying is Darfur, Tibet, closing down factories to combat smog in largely industrial areas, and the lack of open media access - it starts in 9 days and I will not be watching much as I love atheltics...and I really don't know what to think about Mr Africa, anti-war, anti- Live 8 Albarn right now.