FRESH from the critical acclaim for last year’s co-production of Underneath A Magical Moon, the highly-praised Leeds company tutti frutti and York Theatre Royal have teamed up again to stage a new adaptation by Olivier Award-nominated Emma Reeves of Hans Christian Andersen’s much-loved tale the Ugly Duckling.

The new adaptation runs at York Theatre Royal from September 28 to October 14 before touring until February 2018.

In their nest at the edge of a pond, the baby ducklings wait impatiently for Mummy’s enormous egg to hatch. But their new brother doesn’t look like everyone else. He doesn’t even quack like a proper duckling.

Teased and called Ugly by his siblings, our hero goes on an adventure in search of a place to fit in. As the woodland trees change from dark weathered branches to silver sticks of frost, the lost and lonely fledgling hides in brushwood and stares skyward at the migrating swans, yearning to belong and marvelling at their beauty. Where does he really belong?

Moving through all four seasons, tutti frutti and York Theatre Royal bring to life Hans Christian Andersen’s well-known tale. With a menagerie of mischievous animals, depicted through inventive physicality, and live music that quacks and trills, this charming production plays with the importance of identity, self-worth and takes us on a journey to discover inner beauty.

Ugly Duckling is directed by tutti frutti’s artistic director Wendy Harris, with design by Catherine Chapman, movement from Holly Irving, music by Tayo Akinbode and puppeteering by Nick Ash. The cast features Danny Childs, Daniel Naddafy and Maeve Leahy.

In 2014 playwright Emma Reeves adapted Jacqueline Wilson’s Hetty Feather for the stage and was subsequently nominated in the Best Entertainment & Family category at the 2015 Olivier Awards.

Emma said: “Ugly Duckling is a classic story about families, identity and finding your place in the world. It’s funny, sometimes sad sometimes but ultimately uplifting. It’s great to be working with tutti frutti again, exploring such a timeless and joyful story.”

Following the York run, Ugly Duckling tours the UK until the end of the year, then tours to The Kids Fest in Hong Kong and Singapore.

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