Meet Pig Monster: the latest character design by Jamie Hewlett for the next incarnation of “Monkey: Journey to the West.”
Apparently not content after forming two of the best Brit pop and indie-hip-hop hybrid bands ever, Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, has composed a musical score, too. (He knows he can take a break, right?) The musical, “Monkey: Journey to the West,” is the stage adaptation of the 16th century Chinese novel Journey to the West, by Wu Cheng. The musical experience was written and directed by Chinese actor/ director Chen Shi-Zheng and features a score by Damon Albarn and illustrations by Jamie Hewlett. It first premiered in 2007, and it’s being resurrected for a run in New York City this summer, where it will feature new character designs, like “Pig Monster,” which we have an exclusive first look at above.
“Pig Monster” is just one of the many strange creatures that the monk Tripitaka encounters on his operatic journey from China to India, foiled and prodded along by the trickster Monkey King, in a spectacle that brings together animation, musical theater, martial artists, and acrobats, which, coincidentally, is exactly how we’d describe what it looks like getting us out of bed in the morning before work every day.
The latest incarnation of the show, which premiered at the Manchester International Festival in 2007, followed up by dates at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and the Royal Opera House in London, will run from July 6–28 at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. Get there any way you can… if you’re not terrified by feral pigs.
Photo credit: Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett