Gorillaz creators Damon Albarn and JAMIE HEWLETT are writing the score for an operatic production of cult 1970s TV show MONKEY. The project, which will boast Chinese acrobats and members of the acclaimed Peking Opera, promises to be as action-packed as the hit television programme Albarn and Hewlett loved as kids. But they promise MONKEY: JOURNEY TO THE WEST will be more than a just theatrical take on a nostalgic phenomenon, as it is based on the ancient Buddhist story Monkey was originally inspired by. The $1.7 million (GBP1 million) production will debut at next year's (07) inaugural Manchester International Festival. Festival director ALEX POOTS says, "Damon and Jamie were both fans. That drew them back to the story."