Redbridge policy change after rainbow monkey library incident

All children’s performances at Redbridge libraries must now be signed off by the council following a scandal earlier this year.

In July, a performer in a rainbow monkey costume with fake genitals and buttocks performed at a children’s literacy event at Redbridge Central Library.

The performance, which drew international attention and ire, was organised by the council’s contractor Vision RCL, which runs the borough’s culture and leisure spaces.

At a full council meeting last night, council leader Jas Athwal said Vision had provided a “full and thorough investigation of why the series of events took place”.

He also revealed he had contacted the police following the incident to ask whether an offence had occurred but did not reveal if he received an answer.

He added: “As a parent, I was simply horrified by the incident and acted immediately. I just wish others reacted like that when they saw what was happening.”

Mandinga Arts, the troupe behind the costume, say they “deeply regret” the incident and have apologised “profusely” to everyone concerned.

They wrote: “Although the monkey was well-received at carnival events with a mixed audience, it was entirely unsuitable for a children’s event and should never have been used. The monkey costume has also been retired.”

The Metropolitan Police have been approached to confirm the outcome of the council’s referral.


Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter