Jackie the Baboon

Andy Brunskill & Jimmy Grimes - Bellairs Theatre, Ivy Arts Centre
Wednesday 3rd October 2018

Renowned for their work on War Horse, Brunskill and Grimes innovate in the field of puppetry, visual storytelling and narrative.

Following their hugely successful visit to GSA last year, the duo are returning to present one of the first performances of their ambitious new work Jackie the Baboon, which tells the true story of a baboon found by a South African soldier and taken to war as a mascot. Jackie is given a uniform and serves in the trenches of the Great War for three years, including the infamous Battle of Devil’s Wood. This visually rich show features innovative puppetry, ensemble acting and an original score to tell the life story of this incredible baboon and take you through the war from a unique point of view.

This show has been developed with support from Arts Council England, University of Surrey and Orange Tree Theatre, and includes a post-show discussion facilitated by Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca with invited guests Tim Woodfine (Director of Conservation, Marwell Wildlife) and baboon expert, Prof. Samantha Hurn (University of Exeter)

The performance will be preceded by a public talk from anthropologist and baboon expert, Professor Samantha Hurn from the University of Exeter. Prof. Hurn has done research across Africa looking at issues such as primate conservation and human-wildlife conflict.

One performance at 7.30pm.  Book Now

5pm-6pm Pre-Show Public Talk by Prof. Samantha Hurn 

Please note if you wish to book for this Public talk you should select the PRE-SHOW TALK ticket type as well as tickets to the show.

A brief cultural history of baboons

Baboons are one of the most successful primate species on the planet. Their adaptive capabilities have many evolutionary advantages, exemplified in their low priority conservation status across Africa and the Arabian peninsula. They thrive in a range of habitats, from the grasslands of Ethiopia and the deserts of Namibia to the cityscape of Cape Town in South Africa. However, the sheer tenacity of baboons has also made them many enemies amongst the humans with whom they co-exist. Baboons raid human houses and crops and, in some contexts, have even learnt how to break into cars! As a result, they are frequently the victims of retributive attacks. Baboons and humans have always lived alongside each other, but their close associations are not inevitably acrimonious. Baboons also have their share of admirers, from the ancient Egyptians for whom the animals were sacred, to contemporary visitors to wildlife parks who delight in the playful and irreverent antics of these distant biological relatives. This talk will take you through a brief cultural history of baboons, drawing on my research with Chacma baboons in South Africa, discussing the place of baboons in different human cultures and societies, and the place of culture in baboon societies.

Sam Hurn is Associate Professor in Anthropology at the University of Exeter. Her research falls under the umbrella category of anthrozoology (how humans think about and engage with nonhuman or other-than-human animals in a range of cultural contexts), and she is particularly concerned with the ethical implications of human-animal interactions. She is director of the Exeter Anthrozoology as Symbiotic Ethics (EASE) working group and Programme Director for the MA and PhD programmes in Anthrozoology. Sam has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Southern Africa (Swaziland and South Africa - looking at primate conservation and human-wildlife conflict, with particular emphasis on mitigating human conflict with baboons in Cape Town) and Europe including Romania, Spain and the UK - focussing on domesticated animals, animals in agricultural production systems, the enrolment of animals in ritual contexts, human kinship with dogs and other companion species, and the management of stray or street dogs.


7.30-8.45pm Performance
8.45-9.30pm Post-show discussion

Art House Jersey are the co-producers of the show

jackie the baboon