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Tour dates 2022 - 2023:



Calder Bookshop Theatre, London - 15 October 2022, 7.30pm

White Bear Theatre, London - 11, 12 and 13 January 2023, 7.30pm 

The Space, Docklands, London - 17 and 18 February 2023, 7.30pm 

The Brook Theatre, Chatham, Kent -  22 February 2023, 8pm 


Jermyn Street Theatre, West End - 19 March 2023, 5pm 

Tabard Theatre, London - 1 October 2023, 3pm

The Canterbury Festival, Kent - 27 October 2023, 7.30pm 

Everything Theatre interview here: Interview: Just who was Aphra Behn? - Everything Theatre (

Podcast interview with Space chats can be listened to here: Season 3, Episode 8 - Claire Louise Amias by Space Chats (

A Monkey With Cymbals


Aphra Behn – spy, writer and female libertine – a one-woman show.


The Masks of Aphra Behn returns! See new dates below. First performed in the Women and War Festival at the So & So Arts Club 2016. It then toured the UK in 2017, and recently streamed in the Off Online Fringe Festival 2020. It has just received an Offie nomination from Off West End.


It's 1677 and an audience getting ready to watch Aphra Behn's The Rover are in for a surprise. For the show has been cancelled and in its place Aphra herself recounts the extraordinary tale of her time as a spy for King Charles II in the Dutch Wars, and how she became the first professional female writer. Complete with excerpts from Behn's letters, poetry and plays, this vivid and thought-provoking one-woman show brings one of theatre's most brilliant raconteurs back to life.


Written and performed by Claire Louise Amias

Directed by Pradeep Jey

Costume by Anna Sørensen Sargent


Everything Theatre ★★★★

Lost in Theatreland ★★★★

London Theatre1 ★★★★

Remote Goat ★★★★

Female Arts ★★★★

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The Masks of Aphra Behn

Copyright, all rights reserved 2012                                  

Show flyer - print front






Here are the most recent reviews about the show:


Everything Theatre ★★★★


Lost in Theatreland ★★★★


Once a Week Theatre


London Theatre1 ★★★★

Remote Goat ★★★★

“Thoroughly entertaining... Pradeep Jey's faultless direction.”

Female Arts ★★★★


"You'll be hard pressed to find a show quite as original and enjoyable as this one...Amias as Behn is meticulous yet personable... Amias' passion for the projects shines through every detail of the show."


A Younger Theatre

"Through movement, various voices, accents and physical transformations, Amias alternated between the narrator and characters seamlessly. The emotion she portrayed translated as real, current and authentic which she used to immerse the audience into the boisterous existence that was Aphra Behn...The overall production was entertaining, witty, well written and insightful into the life of a woman who at times seems forgotten"


Shy, Strange, Manic

"The actress Claire Louise Amias delivery was strong throughout, and could easily move from heartbreak to humour seamlessly.  She manages to make you forget that this hour long performance is actually a monologue, as she switches between characters in conversation. A strong script and a strong performance."


Audience Response:


“The Masks of Aphra Behn, written and performed by Claire Louise Amias was excellent. A compelling story of a fascinating woman”

“Stunning performance by Claire Louise Amias”

“Fabulous writing and acting”

“Excellent show written and performed by Claire Louise Amias. Highly recommended.”

“Just spent a charming evening with Aphra Behn (AKA Claire Louise Amias), Go and see… beautifully performed and wonderfully engaging. “

“Brilliant writing and performance by the very talented Claire Louise Amias”

“A huge congratulations to A Monkey With Cymbals for the brilliant ‘The Masks of Aphra Behn’”.

“Thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s intimate evening with a spellbinding Aphra Behn. Thanks to Claire Louise Amias for a fabulous performance.”

“So good. Don’t miss this tour de force”

“Chuffed to have caught the amazing performance of Claire Louise Amias in this one-woman show.

“A fascinating and brilliantly executed piece”

“Really well observed, lovely characters, very precise changes. Fascinating story too – I loved it.

“An extraordinary tale exquisitely acted. Gorgeous costume”

“Saw Claire Louise Amias in The Masks of Aphra Behn this weekend. Loved her performance and spotlighting of the great Aphra”.


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Photographs by             Greg Veit                



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