The Duke

In 1974 my father invested £750 (£8,100 in today’s money) in a Royal Worcester porcelain figure of The Duke of Wellington on horseback -made to celebrate his victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. He kept the figure we affectionately called The Duke, wrapped in sponge, in a big box, under his bed. After he died in 2001, my mother decided to take the figure out and display it on the table in the bay window. Since 2005 I’ve been working on a film script, which is in the very final stages of development. In the autumn of 2015 I sit at my desk waiting for an email that will tell me whatIneed to do to the script to get it onto the screen. I turn the radio on. I listen to a report about the refugee crisis. My mother calls. She tells me she’s broken The Duke. My mother, my film script and the refugee crisis all need my attention.”

Funny and poignant, The Duke is a one-man show by Shôn Dale-Jones, Artistic Director of Hoipolloi, who combine original storytelling with an inventive spirit.

The Duke weaves together the tragi-comic fateof a family heirloom -a porcelain figure of The Duke of Wellington, the quandary of a scriptwriter stretching his integrity and an unfolding disaster as thousands of children flee their homes. Blending fantasy and reality, this playful show gently challenges our priorities in a world full of crisis.

The Duke received The Scotsman’s Fringe First Award when it premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in2016and has been produced in aid of the Save the Children’s Emergency Fund, with audience members giving to the worthwhile campaign after the performance.

“He makes the real world seem wondrous and, in that, The Dukeis its own antidote: art that alleviates, but also art that does its bit. Rather than presuming to lectureand guilt-trip us, it gently sets us thinking, then provides buckets for donations to Save the Children… You won’t find a show with a bigger, better heart ” What’sOn Stage|4


02 Oct 2024


19:30 - 23:00


Swan Theatre
The Moors, Worcester, WR1 3ED

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