As part of the Jersey Festival of Words 2018, ArtHouse Jersey commissioned theatre innovators who worked on War Horse to write and perform new play in Jersey, Jackie the Baboon.
The puppetry play that tells the remarkable true story of a baboon who is taken to war as a mascot by the 3rd South African infantry. Jackie is given a uniform and serves in the trenches of the First World War where he encounters humanity at its best and worst.
The commissioning was an exciting coup for the growing Jersey arts scene. Writer, Andy Brunskill, and puppeteer director, Jimmy Grimes, worked on the play throughout the September as guests of ArtHouse Jersey. The whole theatre company – actors, the composer, stage managers and designers – based themselves in the Island rehearsing at Greve de Lecq Barracks for an extended period, as they prepared for the first full performance of the play. A Jersey audience was the first to see a full informal work-in-progress performance at the Jersey Arts Centre on Saturday 29 September 2018, before it was shared with audiences at Guildford School for Acting and the Omnibus Theatre in London.