MONKEY Magic is fondly remembered by every `80s and `90s kid and their parents. It first aired on the ABC in 1981 and the 52 episodes were repeated many times over the years. I was fascinated and loved sharing the excitement of his adventures with my children.
Later, as I travelled in Asia, I discovered so many references to this story: statues, miniature masks, and comic books reinterpreted with modern references and fart jokes. He was an icon of the Beijing Olympics, his image projected onto clouds.
Wonthaggi Theatrical Group is presenting a version of this story, Magic Monkey, at the State Coal Mine for their summer show. The epic saga of a heroic Chinese monk’s pilgrimage to India with a monkey king, a pig spirit and sand monster in a search for sacred Buddhist scriptures was first published in 1592. The novelistic quest lasted 16 years.