AITOR BASAURI, Spymonkey’s Joint Artistic Director, is one of the most sought after and leading teachers of clown and physical comedy in the world. He regularly runs Spymonkey masterclasses in London, Brighton and New York, is a staff tutor at Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas, and teaches at Ecole Phillipe Gaulier.
Aitor studied at the Centro Andaluz de Teatro in Seville and at the Philippe Gaulier School in London. He performed in The Servant of Two Masters at Sheffield Crucible (1996), Axomate at the Seville Expo (1992), Eulenspiegel (1991) and in Karl’s Kuhne Gassenchau’s Grand Paradis and Stau in Zurich (1997 and 1998). He directed Little Prince for Donkey Productions (1997), Un Vento Impetuoso for La Canoppia (1996) and Meci Y Me Fui for Pez Enraya ( 1997). In 1999 he appeared in Circus Knie, the Swiss State Circus, and in 2000 formed his own company Punto Fijo, based in Bilbao. He also appeared in Cirque Images’ 2003 series Solstrom for Bravo Cable Network, performed in Zumanity – Another Side of Cirque du Soleil at the New York New York Hotel Casino, Las Vegas, 2003-05, and in Bertold Brecht’s Senor Carrera’s Rifles at the Young Vic, directed by Paul Hunter (2007).
Spymonkey was founded by Toby Park, Petra Massey and Aitor Basauri in 1997. With their dark, edgy physical comedy rooted ‘somewhere between Monty Python, the Marx Brothers and Samuel Beckett’ (The Houston Chronicle), and a quartet of performers from Spain, Germany and England, Spymonkey have proved to be a truly international phenomenon, enjoyed by and accessible to a wide range of international audiences. They have created six shows to date:
Stiff (1998), a black comedy about undertakers, Total Theatre Award Winner, British Council Showcase of the best of British theatre in 2001, toured to Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Finland, Spain, France, USA, Canada, Mexico, Syria, Ireland, Romania, Czech Republic and Sweden.
Cooped (2001, mid-scale version 2005), a gothic romance directed by Cal McCrystal, international tours to Sydney Opera House, Just For Laughs Montreal, Toronto World Stages, Melbourne Comedy Festival, Brighton Festival, Edinburgh Festival.
Zumanity – Another Side of Cirque du Soleil (2003-05) resident show at New York New York Hotel Casino, Las Vegas. Spymonkey created the comedy content for this adult burlesque show, seen by half a million people.
Bless (2007), about the lives of the saints directed by Cal McCrystal, nominated for 3 Betty Mitchell Awards.
Spymonkey’s Moby Dick (2009) directed by Jos Houben & Rob Thirtle, which firmly established them as a mid-scale company, including a run at the Lyric Hammersmith, and toured internationally to Finland, Holland & Belgium.
Love In (2011) a self-help cabaret directed by Chris Green, winner Best Comedy Brighton Festival 2011, Udderbelly Southbank.
Oedipussy (2012) A gloriously anarchic physical comedy combines with the playful storytelling verve of Kneehigh’s Emma Rice and Carl Grose to create an outrageous no-holds-barred subversion of the quintessential Greek tragedy – a tale of forbidden lust, violent murder and the ultimate dysfunctional family.