While Albarn has all but proclaimed Gorillaz dead, he and Hewlett have been hard at work on their next venture- an ancient Chinese folk tale in the form of an opera. The pair is very much aware of the difficulty selling such an idea to the masses, as Hewlett explains:
“People are scared of operas, especially when they’re in Mandarin. People will be astounded by this show, but they have to take that leap of faith. The first four months was complete confusion. It was quite scary doing this. But that’s where the excitement is for me, the challenge. Now we have 81 minutes of non-stop, in your face entertainment. You won’t have the opportunity to get bored! There’s no curtain and no pauses. We have dragons and water and horses and lots of animation and flying sequences. It’s full on.”
‘Monkey: Journey To The West’ opens on June 28 in Manchester, where it will run for ten days before moving on to Berlin, Tokyo, and then New York.