MONK MISTERIOSO – a journey into the silence of Thelonious Monk

LONDON Kings Place (Hall Two)
90 York Way
N1 9AG


Perhaps the most enigmatic talent to have emerged from the maelstrom of bebop in the 1940s, Thelonious Monk continues to exert a powerful influence on the jazz world, as pianist, composer and as a individual force of nature, who had the courage to go against the racism of his era. In the last seven years of his life Monk stopped talking and playing, totally isolating himself from the world. 

With text by the prominent Italian writer Stefano Benni, Theatralia’s production explores the world of the unique revolution he brought into jazz composition and piano playing, and the mystery of these last seven years, when he decided to close himself into a mysterious silence. Narrator and vocalist Filomena Campus is joined by Cleveland Watkiss, Orphy Robinson, Pat Thomas, Rowland Sutherland, Dudley Phillips and Mark Mondesir, with video design by SDNA.

The first of two special projects created for the closing weekend of the Festival in celebration of the centenary of the birth of a jazz icon.

Unfortunately Jean Toussaint has had to cancel his appearance for personal reasons.

  • ‘ The story of the eccentric pianist who shrugged off prejudice to become a jazz icon is ripe for dramatization. A crime to miss it. ’
    (The Times)
  • ‘ A powerful and moving performance, with Monk’s matchless music and superb musicians to lead you through ’

Using some of the leading UK jazz musicians, a marvellous bit of jazz theatre - followed by a DJ session of Monk tunes with JazzF M presenters Chris Philips and Ruth Fisher.

(Ruth Fisher, Jazz FM)