Theatre in Wales

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At the Sherman

Sherman Theatre- The Ugly Duckling , Sherman Theatre Cardiff , December 7, 2019
At the Sherman by Sherman Theatre- The Ugly Duckling It is the warmth that each member of this talented cast generates that makes this production such a joy to watch. We meet Jed OíReillyís wonderfully acted Ugly Duckling as he struggles to get Ďborní. We see him create great hilarity with this audience of very enthusiastic ducks and ducklings, as he tries to wiggle out of his shell. Once heís out of it, covered in very dull grey feathers he tries to quack like the other chicks but it comes out as a frightful honk.

His fellow ducklings are not amused and start to wonder about him. They make perfect quacks and soon begin to wonder why this duckling is not able to quack like them. We are given two more warm hearted and lively duckling chicks by Mari Beard and Tom Blumberg.

They are also very talented musicians and play Dylan Jonesí catchy music that runs sparklingly throughout the story that playwright, Katherine Chandler has adapted from the well-known original of Hans Christian Anderson.

Beard turns up as a very dangerous hunting dog, well not too dangerous but lots more fun and laughter and we get great prancing cat from Blumberg. The duck and these other people canít work out why our ugly duckling canít quack like them.

We are not short on quacks though with only a little encouragement all the ducks and ducklings in the audience fill the auditorium with quacking.

Things quieten a little as we see our Ugly Duckling struggling through the changing seasons of the year. He finds the winter very cold. He looks up and sees white, long necked birds flying across the sky. There are several beautiful moments in this well-known story. We see this reflected by designer, Rose Revittís simple but effective setting enhanced by Ceri James lighting

As time goes by we start to notice something strange about our Ugly Duckling, no more dull grey feathers but wonderful, white plumage of the swan he has become. Everyone is happy. The no longer ugly duckling plays a bright song on his ukulele and we all go quacking our way home.

The play runs until the 31st December

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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