Slapstick! The story of Joseph Grimaldi

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Sunday 14 Apr 2024 19:30
Monday 15 Apr 2024 14:30
Monday 15th April, 2024 19:30
Friday 19 Apr 2024 14:30
Friday 19 Apr 2024 19:30
Saturday 20 Apr 2024 14:30
Saturday 20 Apr 2024 19:30

Directions to Old Theatre Royal
Meet The Cast
Meet the Creative Team




Originally a television presenter both locally and nationally, Jon has worked extensively in most genres of television – and across most networks. Live light-entertainment for the BBC, quiz shows for Endemol, pseudo-sports programmes for Sky One, consumer and current affairs, religion, politics, lifestyle, education. Throw in a healthy amount of radio, voiceovers, corporate videos/live events, audience warm-up and emceeing too – it’s a diverse CV. The one constant is Jon’s unique brand of banter and quick-witted humour. 

Recent TV acting credits include Bridgerton (Netflix), The Nevers (HBO/Sky), The Outlaws (BBC), Showtrial (BBC), and Moominvalley (Sky). 

Jon first appeared in Bath’s celebrated pantomimes in 1996 and has become a firm favourite with West Country audiences, appearing at the Theatre Royal Bath in nearly every pantomime in the last eleven years and building a strong relationship with the late, great, “doyen of Dames”, Chris Harris. Jon has now performed in panto on the Theatre Royal Bath stage over 1,100 times.

His version of Beauty and The Beast won Best Script at The Great British Pantomime Awards in 2019. Other recent writing credits include Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan – The Return of Captain Hook and Cinderella, all for UK Productions; The Little Mermaid for Butlins; Santa’s Magical Gift and The Gingerbread Boy for Sam Bradshaw Productions; additional material for Friends! The Musical Parody, and lyrics for Menopause the Musical 2.

He also leads workshops in improvisation for enthusiastic adults and drama students alike and regularly performs with Instant Wit, the South West’s premier comedy improvisation company.

Jon‘s extensive experience in pantomime as performer and writer means that he is uniquely placed to create this play’s portrait of Joseph Grimaldi, both as collaborator in the writing of the script and in his stage performance. Grimaldi was a complex human being who led an extraordinary life; but he was also a clown; pantomime was in his blood.  If anyone can understand that, it is Jon

Joseph Grimaldi : Jon Monie


Having trained at BOVTS (where he enjoyed tuition from, among others, panto legend Chris Harris), Nik has enjoyed roles in theatre, TV and radio, and appeared at the Theatre Royal when touring with Sally Cookson’s award winning production, ‘Hetty Feather’, and at the Egg Theatre as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Greg Bank’s production of ‘Robin Hood’; as well as panto at Salisbury Playhouse and several productions at Bristol Old Vic; he also received plaudits for his portrayal of Stan Laurel in the BBC4 film , ‘Stan’, and is a member of Bath’s own Natural Theatre Company. 

 Nik and Jon have been making each other laugh with comedy improv company, ‘Instant Wit’, for the last ten years or more, developing an onstage chemistry integral to the portrayal of Grimaldi and his Stage Manager. Nik has been lured to this engaging, creative and honest piece of storytelling by the opportunity to reveal the life of the man who played a formative role in the clowning and pantomime we see today (and, thereby, some of our earliest, joyful Christmas memories)…. that and the prospect of more laughs (and probably tears) with Jon and the audience. 



Harry has previously worked as an Actor/Musician in The Colour of Dinosaurs at The Bristol Old Vic, The National Theatre’s production of ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ at The Bridge Theatre.  Most recently, he was the musical director for The Stolen Winter Light (Greedy Pig Theatre Co.) at the Rondo Theatre here in Bath.  

Jools and Harry worked together as on-stage musicians in the National Theatre Production of ‘Peter Pan’

Harry Miller - Actor Musician - Head-shot



Sue has worked in literature and theatre one way or another all her life, as actor, academic, award-winning director, playwright, poet and librettist. She has lectured and directed in South Africa, Austria and the UK, and taught at King Edward’s school in Bath, where she founded a Theatre Studies Department which she ran for twenty years. Her passion for theatre and her commitment to professional production values communicated itself to her students, over 150 of whom now work in the industry.

Since leaving teaching, she has become a full time writer, working with Jools Scott as librettist on operas – ‘Vice’ and “Demon Lover’, Oratorios- ‘The Cool Web’, ‘Goose’ a musical for children, and many songs, carols and song cycles. She has written plays – most recently ‘Nocturne’ ,an A-Z of children’s poetry, and children’s stories. 

She is at present working on ‘Singing’, a book for children, with illustrator Becky Blake, ‘Blood’, a satirical play about vampires running the London housing market, and the beginnings of a new oratorio, ‘Albatross’, with Jools Scott.

 Having come across the story of Grimaldi’s life, she could not resist writing ‘Slapstick’ during lockdown, in cheerful collaboration with Jon Monie.



Jess is a set and costume designer nationally and internationally for theatre, opera and ballet. 

She trained at the Motley Theatre Design Course on Drury Lane, but made her first stage designs for the stage at King Edward’s School in Bath with a certain Mr Jon Monie!

Her work ranges from large scale community pieces in Chester Cathedral and ballet at the Royal Opera House to small two-handers on the earthen floor stage at Tara Arts. She has worked outside on a cliff’s edge at the Minack Theatre this summer and inside a brand new theatre in an old Odeon cinema. She is privileged and excited to be part of a new world premiere in a building  with such a deep theatrical heritage springing back to life with this outrageously talented company.



Jools has worked with the BFI, Brodsky Quartet,Flanders Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and St Paul’s Cathedral Choir. In 2015, he scored Andrew Steggall’s feature film ‘Departure’(’Jools Scott’s  tastefully sparse score’ – Variety Magazine) The same year, he performed in Sally Cookson’s critically acclaimed production of Jane Eyre (National Theatre).

Jools and Sue have worked on everything from opera to jazz during a fourteen year collaboration beginning with the jazz opera “Vice”. In 2014, they completed ‘The Cool Web; A Robert Graves Oratorio’, which premiered in Bath Abbey and went on to open the Wimbledon International Music Festival in 2017, and close the official UK and Belgian 1914-1918 centenary programme at St Paul’s Cathedral in 2018.

They have written numerous song cycles for children, including ‘Extraordinary Creatures’, ‘Written on Water’, ’Music of the Spheres’, and ‘When the War Came’, for Bath Abbey and “Stardust’ and ‘Extraordinary!” for the Bath children’s charity ‘Voices for Life’, which have been performed at Bath Abbey, Wells Cathedral and the Wiltshire Music Center by well over a thousand primary school children.



Travelling By Car:

There is no dedicated parking on-site. You can download a map here showing all of the City Centre Car Parks. A price guide for these is available here.

The nearest large car park is in Southgate (100 metres walk), and live information on the number of currently available spaces at Southgate is available here.   Southgate has allocated disabled parking spaces on Level 1, from which street level is accessible by a lift. The lift exiting in Philip Street is the closest to us.  There are also on-street disabled parking spaces in New Orchard Street, approximately 50 metres from the entrance.

There are Park & Ride carparks on the outskirts of the City, details of which can be found here.

Travelling By Public Transport:

From the Bus Station, walk east approximately 50 metres to the Train Station Forecourt, then follow the directions from there.

From the Train Station Forecourt, walk north up Manvers Street approx 150 metres, then turn left into Henry Street, following the blue signs for the Masonic Museum.  Approximately 50 metres along Henry Street turn right into Old Orchard Street and the entrance to The Old Theatre Royal is about 25 metres on your right.

From the Sightseeing Bus Stops on Terrace Walk, walk south down Pierrepont Street approx 100 metres, then turn right into Henry Street, following the blue signs for the Masonic Museum.  Approximately 50 metres along Henry Street turn right into Old Orchard Street and the entrance to The Old Theatre Royal is about 25 metres on your right.


Level Access is provided throughout the ground floor, with routes & pathways suitable for visitors with limited mobility.  There is a lift to the Museum and vaults below and to the dining room on the first floor; the lift will accommodate a wheelchair together with occupant plus an accompanying assistant.  A ramp is available for wheelchair users if required for negotiating a low step at the front entrance.   There is no wheelchair access to the backstage area.  Areas above the first floor are only accessible by stairs and therefore not accessible for wheelchair users.

A dedicated disabled toilet is provided on the ground floor

A hearing loop is installed in the Temple/auditorium area.

The building is non-smoking throughout.

Additional Information

Current timetable and travel information for trains to and from Bath can be found here.

Current timetable information for public service buses in and around Bath can be found here.

Information on Bath Sightseeing Bus Tours can be found here.