BATS Theatre, Wellington

16/02/2012 - 19/02/2012

YMCA Conference Room, Hereford Street, Christchurch

18/01/2013 - 26/01/2013

Basement Theatre Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

05/03/2013 - 08/03/2013

Downstage Theatre, Wellington

10/05/2013 - 11/05/2013

NZ Fringe Festival 2012

Auckland Fringe 2013

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

“…uncontrollably funny…” -HBL.FI culture and entertainment

“Thom Monckton’s one-man show hit the laughter jackpot…” -Helsinki Sanomat

 “…This man is a phenomenon.”  -HelsinkiSanomat

Moving Stationery is a wordless one-man physical comedy show combining dance, object manipulation and clown technique. The creation of Moving Stationery took place inFinland as part of a three-month artist’s residence. With very little human interaction during that time, and outside temperatures dropping to -28 degrees Celsius, the result is a particularly well rehearsed but slightly off-kilter show.

This comedy of errors revolves around Sigmund, the bewildered recipient of a new office job, who is completely out of his depth. Sigmund’s desperate attempts to defend himself against his own mistakes spiral out of control until he is fighting an epic war against a (deceptively) harmless office. The elevator, his lunch, and the office stationery seem set to destroy him.

Hurjaruuth Dance Theatre produced the first season of Moving Stationery, which met with great reviews and audience feedback. It was then invited to perform a one-off at the Pori Theatre Festival where 91 people were crammed into a 75-seat theatre.

Thom Monckton’s show “contains the history of clowning and perfect timing”. It is an easy and entertaining show to see, combining the very old and very new forms of clown – both rarely seen inNew Zealand.

16th – 19th February , 6.30pm
BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce
$16 Full/$14 Concession/$12 Fringe Addict or 04 8024175  

Thanks to Creative Communities (NZ) and Saaren Kartano (FIN) funding.


Winner of 3 NZ Fringe Festival Awards 2012 including Best of Fringe, Moving Stationery is an energetic, wordless, absurd comedy that will hit you like an overdose of wasabi. And it’s fun for ALL the Family!

5th – 8th March, 5:30pm
Venue: The Basement Studio, Lower Greys Avenue, Auckland CBD
Tickets: Full $18 / Concessions $15
Bookings: iTicket –  or (09) 361 1000 


YMCA Conference Room, Hereford Street
Friday 18 – Saturday 26 January
1 Seat = 1 Donation ($15 preferred)
First in, first served!

Seats available from / 0800 DASH TICKETS until 12noon on the day of the show. Get in quick! Very limited seats on the door from 5.30pm
No BYO alcohol. 
No smoking, thanks!
PLEASE NOTE: Thursday 17 January show has been cancelled. This show has changed venue from THE BIG TOP in and is now located at the YMCA Conference Room on Hereford Street.

7pm FRI 10 MAY  
5pm + 7pm SAT 11 MAY

Book Online – or book at our box office on: (04) 801 6946
Tickets: Adult: $28, Concession: $22, Child: $14.90
(SAT 5pm ALL TIX $14.90) Duration: 1hr  

Thom Monckton – Biography

 “…blessed with limbs that could rotate in any direction and a body that appeared entirely boneless.”  Dartford Times, London

 “His work is simply some of the funniest that has come out the school’s 10 years of operation.” -Godfrey Sim, CircoArts Director

Thom is a New Zealander from Patea, South Taranaki. He grew up with four older brothers and an irrational desire to be a clown. Thom has trained two years at New Zealand’s circus school CircoArts and was the 13th New Zealander in 50 years to complete the two years training course at physical theatre school ‘Lecoq’ in Paris.

Thom has worked aroundNew Zealandas a solo artist and as an actor with The Ugly Shakespeare Theatre Company. He left forFranceafter his application to Lecoq was accepted in 2006 and has been based inEuropeever since.

Apart from the physical theatre training he received at Lecoq, his life experiences in Paris included living in parks and on the streets, in an abandoned derelict hotel, in a tent in the woods, and in a hot water cupboard. Thom graduated in 2008 and went straight into a six-month contract with Hurjaruuth, a circus and dance theatre company inFinland.

Thom has helped set up four physical theatre companies in theUKandFranceand has established himself as a respected artist inFinland. 

“During the past four years I have been following (Thom’s) work both in France and in Finland and he is a very talented physical actor who takes his craft seriously. Having him networking in Finland creates a valuable link for performing arts in our country that deserves to be supported.” – Maksim Komaro (Finland), Circo Aereo Director

Kallo Collective

“…as zany as any we have seen here for decades.”  -The Dominion Post (NZ)

Founded in 2009 Kallo Collective is an up-and-coming physical theatre and contemporary circus company. The international collective is based inHelsinkiwith strong connections inFranceandNew Zealand. Key members include Jenni Kallo (FIN), Thom Monckton (NZ), Sampo Kurppa (FIN), and Jen McArthur (NZ).

The Collective aims to augment and evolve the disciplines of physical theatre, contemporary circus, and in particular, clowning.

The founding members (Kallo, Monckton, and Kurppa) studied together at the international physical theatreschoolofJacques LecoqinParisand all members have a background in circus training. The collective has developed a unique sense of theatre style and physical comedy drawing from the masters, Chaplin and Keaton, and adding a contemporary twist.

Kallo Collective has created and produced the original clown theatre shows; Members of Our Limbs, Echolalia, Miss Olga, and Moving Stationery. These productions have met with great response from the public and critics alike. Kallo Collective is an adaptable and productive company with high quality, tour-friendly shows that appeal to a wide audience.

50 mins

Awe-inspiring dancer, mime artist, contortionist, gymnast, clown and artiste

Review by Maraea Rakuraku 12th May 2013

A simple white table with a red gingham tablecloth announces that the serving tonight, at Downstage, will involve a 10 minute appetiser before the 50 minute main.  The laughs are fast and ready in the first Act because seriously, this guy – as a waiter setting the table – can bust a move. 

After a brief set-change it’s onto the main act – Moving Stationery – which operates on the premise that while stationery is cool (generations of teenage girls for eons can vouch for this), shifting it around on a desk in an office while undertaking meaningless repetitive tasks day in and day out is most definitely, not cool.

Obviously a lot of work has gone into devising this work which makes a ceremony of the inane.  As anyone who has spent time ‘pushing paper’ there are things done to pass time and this work captures that.  Who knew a helium filled balloon attached to a teabag had physical limitations unless it had been tried and tested.  All action is purposeful and it feels like this has been worked on to give the impression of not-being-worked on.  Clever.

That it’s had time to develop and breathe since it debuted in 2012 is evident though it could benefit from more. I found my attention waning in parts even in spite of the generosity afforded towards the audience (but then isn’t that true of sitting in an office environment without the distraction of a computer and internet connection).  I couldn’t even be distracted by the fact that the performer, Thom Monckton, uses every single part of his body in the performance, even his hair. Yes, even his hair!

Did I mention it’s all mimed? Combined with his physicality and tendency towards over exaggerated facials he reminds me a little of Mr Bean.  But this is Mr Bean unplugged.  There is nowhere to hide on a theatre stage.  As is the case, whenever I watch anything involving Mr Bean I find myself bracing for the cringe and the kind of unpredictability that this type of comedy/clowning relies on. While there are moments it could catapult down that pathway, it doesn’t. I like how it doesn’t fall into ‘then there’s this-and-this-and-this’, as one gag after another eclipses the one beforehand.

He most definitely earns the rapturous applause he gets after one particularly impressive and surprising physical act that unravels and evokes wow.  Skinny white guys take note.  For want of a cliché, this will get you the girl. 

The soundtrack is great, enhancing the performance and at one stage I marvel at how perfectly co-ordinated it is with the action.  How does a performance without words stay on time? 

Anyone who has spent time watching a clock tick agonisingly, torturously slowly, while trapped within four walls will relate to Moving Stationery. In fact, anyone who hasn’t (if the kids chortling throughout the performance is anything to go by) will as well. It’s whānau-friendly and while it won’t exactly set-you-on fire, I guarantee it will leave you in awe of the abilities of Thom Monckton: dancer, mime artist, contortionist, gymnast, clown and artiste. What’s next?   

[Note: This very brief season played only three performances over two day.] 


John Smythe May 12th, 2013

I think the tea bag reference is enigmatic enough to intrigue rather than reveal.  It's the most talked about element of the show and you really do have to be there to fully appreciate it.  I'd seen the show before and that did not lessen my enjoyment this time round.  What a pity it was such a very short season. 

Fergus Aitken May 12th, 2013

WHY do reviewers feel the need to reveal specific elements of the Plot? I refer to the tea bag. Does it no occur to you how much a part of the enjoyment of live entertainment is inherent in the element of surprise? Perhaps not with such inane questions as how does one make silent performance run on time. It's another concept you may not have heard of, called rehearsal.

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Makes making doing easy things look hard look easy

Review by Nik Smythe 05th Mar 2013

It’s about the simplest plotline I can recall in anything I’ve seen: Man goes to work, has a snack and stuffs an envelope.  Yet somehow, through the distinctively undignified medium of clown, it manages to take almost three quarters of an hour to reach the charming, if anti-climactic twist. 

The ostensible love-child of Mr Bean and Stephen Merchant, Thom Monckton’s awkward, scrawny, sweaty, bespectacled, pen-pushing office clerk is the sort of fellow you might cross the street to avoid were he not so genuinely naive and unthreatening. 

After some introductory business involving his mind being blown by the fact his cardy matches the wallpaper patch on the lift’s rear wall, our hapless hero gets to his office for a busy day’s fail. 

Both playfully and painstakingly constructing a coffee table from his stack of clerical boxes, he seats himself for a little tea and sushi.  The relatively elegant solution to getting his teabag into the hot water elicits the first of a number of bursts of supportive applause from the sympathetic audience. 

The character’s unassuming bookishness belies Monckton’s exemplary skill in acrobatics, mime and robot dancing, but the real genius lies in his ability to make the simplest of everyday tasks look all but insurmountably difficult, so that when he finally achieves a task so mundane as sealing an envelope, we are genuinely relieved and proud for him. 

He makes making doing easy things look hard look easy.

Basically, if you’re a fan of classic clown, this is the real thing, as attested by Kallo Collective’s online teaser


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Anxious, angular and wordless clowning

Review by Lindsay Clark 19th Jan 2013

Anyone who has ever battled with a dispenserless roll of cellotape knows about the treacherous nature of desk equipment and will sympathise with the travail of Sigmund, created and performed by Thom Monckton.

Poor chap, he is bound to end in exhausted tangles from the sequence in the lift, taking him to his new office job. Attempts to catch the strings of his tie-on headgear see him already overheated before he even tries to make a cup of tea, consume his sushi or retrieve a pen.

Anxious, angular and wordless, he engages with furniture and objects in a series of mildly humorous encounters in which he is always the loser. In the manner of a true clown, he never gives up, but continues the struggle, sometimes stuck to objects, sometimes contorted in impossible positions, until he eventually exults in the freedom of tossing paperwork into the air.

The idea is an appealing one and although many of Sigmund’s predicaments come about because he initiates a quirky action, such as fixing his tea bag to the dangling string of his smiley (mocking ?) welcome balloon, we can accept the basic proposition that objects meant to help us in a straightforward way can be perversely obstructive.   

Concentrated energy, an extraordinarily flexible body and a mobile, expressive face are features of the performance. While never uproariously funny, it does sustain momentum as well as developing a tentative narrative and the audience was both interested and responsive.  


Editor January 19th, 2013

See also reviews from the double bill The Fickle Finger of Fate

Fergus Aitken January 19th, 2013

Having seen this show a number of times at different stages of its development, this commentary only serves to remind me of the incredibly subjective nature of experiencing live comedy.  

To describe Tom's work as 'never uproarously funny... the audience was both interested and responsive' is completely at odds with the critical acclaim and (massive) laughter and applause 'Moving Stationery' has been met with, from audiences, industry colleagues and Awards panel judges alike.

And to feel the need to mention what he eventually does with the teabag is 'reviewing' at perhaps it's laziest, revealing a high point that is, in my experience of that moment, neither expected or just 'quirky'.

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Extraordinary physical dexterity in wondrously wacky show

Review by John Smythe 17th Feb 2012

Raised in Patea and trained in Paris(L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq) via CircoArts in Christchurch, Thom Monckton devised his almost oxymoronically entitled Moving Stationery inFinland. As a silent clown he is a joy to behold.

His impeccable finger-sync piano playing, which we first saw in Members Of Our Limbs (December 2010), is simply an intro as we take our seats, as are his antics with a notice board displaying the count down to the starting time.

The substantive show captures the torpor of a lonely desk job, where a cup of tea is the highlight of the day. Basically he brings four file boxes up in a lift, unpacks them, makes his tea then discovers and urgent report that needs completing …

What makes this show brilliant is the wackily imaginative way he goes about it, and his extraordinary physical dexterity (his body locking and popping moves could win competitions if he went that way), not to mention the physics lesson implicit in his teabag dunking.

Every bit of his costume is exploited to comic effect. A past success has won him a helium-filled smiley-face balloon and the gift of pens, a pen-holder and Sellotape. These, along with a hat stand, desk, office chair, the boxes and their contents – including some sushi and a tube of wasabi paste – become characters in their own right, as the simplest tasks become complex and blossom into wondrous routines.  

Of course he comes to a reel sticky end and reality bites in the shape of that urgent report. But wait – there’s more …! Don’t miss it.   


Kate McGill February 19th, 2012

absolutely fantastic show. It was such a joy to watch the precision in the form and the true delight of the actor working with us. Bring on a 2nd season.

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