Based on the fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson; The Ugly Duckling is a reimagining of this heartwarming tale. 

Dotty was not like her brothers and sisters; she Honks instead of Quacks. Since the day she hatched from her enormous egg she always knew she was a little bit different. Join Dotty on her adventures as she meets a menagerie of colourful characters on a quest to discover who she is.

The Ugly Duckling is an inclusive, interactive physical performance for children aged 2+ with original music and puppetry. 


Once upon a time there was a little Duckling called Dotty.


Dotty didn’t look like her brothers and sisters, her feet were too big and her feathers all scruffy and grey, and as much as she tried Dotty just couldn’t ‘Quack’…it always came out as a ‘Honk’!


Although Mummy Duck promised to love Dotty unconditionally, Dotty just couldn’t shake the feeling she was different and that somehow she just didn’t fit in with her family.


One day, whilst chasing a flight of birds overhead, Dotty waddled off far from her nest on the pond and ended up at Farmer Mary’s Farm. Follow Dotty on her adventures as she meets a whole flock of feathered characters.


Join us for this uplifting, interactive performance, including new and original music, song and puppetry, and share in Dotty’s escapades as she clucks with Henny the Hen, crows with Reginald Rooster and twit-to-woos with Oscar the Owl.


The Ugly Duckling was first performed as a collaboration between WhatNot and the ShoeBox Theatre, Swindon, as the Theatre’s 2019 Christmas show.

The Ugly Duckling is a reworking of the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. This twinkly, heart-warming fable is a relaxed show for ages 2+ and the child within us all. 

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Audience Feedback



Divisors - Lucy Hoult/Emma-Claire Blythe/ Luke Marquez 

Dramaturg - Luke Marquez

Lighting Technician- Luke Marquez


Original Music Composer  - Gary Bamford

Venue- Shoebox Theatre 




Farmer Mary/Other Birds-  Emma-Claire Blythe 


Dotty - Lucy Hoult 


" Amazing!, so sweet and so clever. Our girls loved it (as did we!" 

'Really lovely, warm and interactive '

" Cute and funny"

"It made me happy cry " 

"Wonderful use of puppets, our little ones were mesmerised