The Duke

Produced by Hoipolloi, PBJ Management and Theatre Royal Plymouth in aid of Save the Children

“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 what I need 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, our Artistic Director. The Duke weaves together the tragi-comic fate of 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 in Edinburgh in 2016 and has been produced in aid of the Save the Children’s Child Refugee Crisis Appeal and the Save the Children Rescue at Sea Appeal and Emergency Appeal. Audience members set and pay their own ticket prices after the performance and all proceeds go to the worthwhile charity.

In its first year of touring audience members raised over £36,500 for the worthy cause and we’re hoping to continue to raise even more money with the show in 2017. To add to our total and support the Save the Children rescue at Sea Appeal donate on our Just Giving Page by clicking here.

“You won’t find a show with a bigger, better heart ”
What’s On Stage | 4 Star Review

The Duke 2017 Performances

Non Stop Festival, Norway | The 21 Sep 2017




Fri 22 - Sat 23 Sep 2017 Det Andreteatret, Oslo

Tue 26 Sep - Sat 07 Oct 2017 Theatre Royal, Plymouth 

Wed 18 Oct 2017 Cambridge Junction

Thu 02 - Sat 4 Nov 2017 Liverpool Everyman


343Head Duke

Thu 21 Sept 2016 Non Stop Festival, Norway