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Variety and good times take centre stage at Monkey House

Within a two-week period, The Monkey House (18 Coghill Street) has hosted a Te Puna fundraiser featuring the bluegrass country band The Harmonic Resonators, a kids disco, a sold out comedy show starring Paul Ego and Paul Douglas, weekly Monday Latin Dance events, a 90’s grunge night, and a highly successful and busy Wednesday Open Mic featuring talented musicians from all across the Coromandel(Phew!).

“We’re really passionate about bringing the performing arts and production value to our little bar/venue here in Whitianga,” says booker and event coordinator Molly Burke who, along with her partner, Kaspur Franke, run and operate The Monkey House and Beat Fairy Productions. “It’s all about bringing people together and having a space and events where the arts can flourish and where fun vibrant people can be themselves, meet up, mingle, and appreciate each other’s talents in a cool dynamic environment” continues Molly.

“We’re an alternative art bar” says Kaspur “That’s what we focus on. We both love live music and the performing arts, so originally thanks to Noel & Nicky Hewlett we got the opportunity to run the Monkey House we just sort of did what we know best, which is to create a hub for artists and art lovers. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s comedy, burlesque, theatre, DJ dance nights, or a live band; it’s just great to see people coming out and enjoying themselves, no matter the genre of performance, and I think right now more than ever, that’s what people want and miss.”

With the support of the new building owners to continue what had started, they have installed a new state of the art sound system, theatrical lighting, cabaret style seating and the theatre features one of the best stocked bars in Whitianga. The Monkey House transformation has been the talk of the town. “It’s one of the best places, if not the best place to perform in, outside of the city,” raves Irish comedian and television personality, Alan McElroy, “We’ve had loads of comedians come through the Monkey House now and they’re always so warm and welcoming. They always look forward to coming back. It’s a great atmosphere for comedy.”

“I’m from Matamata, Kaspur’s from New York, and Whitianga has been an amazingly welcoming new home for us, so we’re delighted to bring what we can for the arts community.”

Current event plans include the vintage vocal trio, The Madeleines, next Thursday, 8 December, doing two shows 6.30pm and 9pm (pictured). They did two sold out shows previously at the Monkey House back in September.

In addition, the future has a string of 80’s and 70’s dance events, Happy House parties, a world class comedy magician featured on America’s Got Talent, plus local and international musical acts. “You can find us at or just swing by for a cocktail and a chat. We’re always keen to meet new, interesting people. We’re a quirky bay and we like the quirk,” says Molly, “and we love to stock local businesses like Blue Fridge Brewery and Old Mate Gin so come out, hangout, see a show and meet new people.”

The all-new Monkey House Lounge and Cabaret is located at 18 Coghill St in Whitianga and we are certain you will have a great time”.


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