Plays: Save Your Last Rolo-way

Ethical Consumerism

Our original play with accompanying activities is about the effect of Western palm oil consumption on the habitat of one of the rarest primates in the world. WAPCA, 2010Deforestation in order to plant oil palms is rife over South East Asia and now in West Africa. This highly lucrative crop is in 1 in 10 products on our shelves. The loss of species and biodiversity in many tropical countries is down to consumers in the West. People are largely unaware of this and if they were aware of the devastating impact their actions were having many people would think twice before they bought certain products.

This panto-style play shows the true story of the Tanoé Forest in Côte d'Ivoire. This unprotected swamp forest became the final refuge of several species of primate since it was difficult to access for bushmeat hunting. It was then sold as a palm oil concession and was going to be cut down. Outcry from local populations and the international consevation community has staid the development for now. The play attempts to show the situation from many different points of view and shows audiences what power they have in their day-to-day lives over the fate of another species. There is plenty of audience participation and opportunities for the audience to feel involved.

Susan Cheyne, 2010This play looks at Roloway monkeys in West Africa but we have an adaptation of the play that uses lar gibbons in South East Asia. We are happy to adapt this play for similar threats (such as soya) to South American primates.

Complimentary activities for this play include

  • Simian Says
  • The Sorting Game
  • Idea Generating

Roloway and Boss

The Boss of the palm oil plantation about to run over the Roloway monkey who is blocking his bulldozer. Beale Park, 2011 Andrew Walmsley.


Seeing a monkey

The Local Man gets the two Scientists to hide behind the tree to see the Roloway monkey foraging for food. The tree at this stage was still exposed and you can see the recycled newspaper and reusable cable ties that make up the tree (thanks Jeremy King!). This also pre-dates us getting an old lamp shade (found in a skip) and painting it for the caopy of the tree. Beale Park, 2011.


Boss and Jones

The Boss of the palm oil plantation shouting at Jones (the worker) to get on with his job. Beale Park 2011.



The Roloway monkey and a companion contemplating their delicious fruit. Beale Park 2011.


Western Man

The Scientist telling the Western Man about the problems of palm oil. Beale Park 2011.


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