Our Current Projects

Save Your Last Rolo-way

Norbert Becker, 2010Our first project focuses on the threat of palm oil to the habitat of the Roloway monkey in West Africa. The play was designed for 7 to 9 year-olds (Year 3/4) but has been enjoyed and understood by audiences from two and a half to ninety! Through our play and interactive children’s workshops we present the issue of ethical consumerism encouraging audiences to think like active conservationists.

Roloway monkeys live in a limited range in West Africa. They have traditionally shared their range with two other monkeys. Norbert Becker, 2010These are the Miss Waldron’s red colobus (believed to be extinct) and the white-naped mangabey (Endangered). Over the last 30 years the forests that these monkeys as well as many other animals and plants live in have been cut down. Now there is only a very small patch in Côte d’Ivoire, called the Tanoé forest, that is still suitable for Roloway monkeys. People are now trying to conserve this unprotected swamp forest and to breed Roloway monkeys in captivity. To find out more visit WAPCA's (West African Primate Conservation Action) website.

Captive breeding is pointless if habitat is not conserved. The biggest threat to the Tanoé forest is deforestation for palm oil plantations. Palm oil is in many products on sale in the West. By being careful about what we buy, we can show that we do not want to cause a species to become extinct. Choosing palm oil-free products is like choosing organic, fair trade, pole and line caught tuna or free-range eggs. See the action section for tips on how to be a responsible consumer and help these beautiful monkeys survive. For further information see our references page.

Andrew Walmsley, 2011


Muna the Monkey

In 2012 we developed a new piece in collaboration with BMCRif (Barbary Macaque Conservation in the Rif) with the support of the PSGB (Primate Society of Great Britain) and Wild Futures. This piece premiered at Beale Park on the 30th August 2012 and then travelled to The Monkey Sanctuary in late September. An alternative version of the show (called Teshta the Monkey) will travel to Morocco in May 2013. The piece has been designed to appeal to audiences of different ages and from different countries.

BMCRif, 2010In Europe including the UK the keeping of primates as pets is on the rise. People keep them with little thought of the welfare of the individual or the wild population. These individuals are often taken from the wild in countries like Morocco. They are then sold in the market or smuggled out of the country to sell in European countries. People buy them on holiday and bring them home while they are babies and cute but they grow up. Adult macaques have large teeth and when they begin to reach sexual maturity they often become very aggressive particularly when they have none of their own kind to interact with.

No human can provide the things that a monkey needs to be happy. BMCRif, 2010They do not have their families and they cannot be returned to them. They live in large groups and range over large areas. The foods they would find for themselves cannot be replicated. Many people realise that they cannot look after their monkeys after the damage has been done. They have been removed from their families and many have severe psychological and physical problems. They then either are abandoned in parks or woods and some are picked up by animal charities. There are very limited places for them in captivity and so they are often put to sleep. Please visit BMCRif's website to learn more about Barbary macaques in Morocco and Wild Futures for primate pet trade in general

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