The Ugly Duckling

With an impressive variety of theatre tricks up their sleeve, Le Petite Artist recreate the classic Hans Christian Anderson tale. The message within the story of an odd looking duckling who grows up to become a swan still resonates profoundly today, over 150 years since it was first published. It’s mighty impressive that the landmark tale can still make children think about the effects of bullying and acceptance even in today’s modern technology world.

it’s nice to see that such a beautiful fairy tale is still being approached with fresh, invigorating ideas and providing ample food for thought for our little ones.

This young theatre group is very aware of the story’s grace and faithfully recreates its tale. The cast of two clearly are very passionate about their adaptation and give two agreeably energetic and thoughtful performances. They have an ingenious use of props and costume to drive the story on and the use of live music is also very pleasing and adds to the sweet atmosphere in the intimate space provided. The children within the audience will also be pleased that there are ample opportunities for them to take part in some of the action happening on stage.

There are some pacing issues however and the fifty minutes do seem to drag out a little longer than it should. This is in part due to a rather noticeable lack of humour within the production. I’m not suggesting a tampering of the text is necessary, but rather instead that they could find little moments that can provide laughter for both children and adults in the audience. Opening up the adaptation for a more modern audience would have made this more suitable for everyone rather than just the youngest members of the audience.

The performances can’t really be blamed however. As the theatre company go on to take their show to foreign audiences, it’s nice to see that such a beautiful fairy tale is still being approached with fresh, invigorating ideas and providing ample food for thought for our little ones.

Reviews by Stewart McLaren

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The Blurb

Le Petit Artiste's The Ugly Duckling is a unique retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale. Be enchanted by exploding eggs, singing frogs, dancing swans and live music. Join the Ugly Duckling and learn about the value of friendship and the pain of being the odd one out. Using original text from Han's Christian Andersen's timeless masterpiece and shaped by LPA's unique dramatic style this is a trip down the river that will glide before your eyes and long last into your memory. The magical journey includes puppetry, mask, dance and live music.

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