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 Emergency Appeal. Audience members set and pay their own ticket prices after the performance and all proceeds go to the worthwhile charity.

In 2018 The Duke was made into a radio play by the BBC for BBC Radio 4  achieving ‘Pick of the Week’, in the same year the radio play was nominated for a Prix Europa Award in the ‘Best European Radio Fiction’ category. In 2018, at the Edinburgh Fringe, the show was also highly commended in the Sit Up and Act Awards for its services to charity and has to date, raised over £50,000 for child refugeesTo add to our total and support the Save the Children Child Refugee appeals 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

2019 Tour Dates

Mon 11 – Wed 13 Nov – 7.45pm | Theatr Clwyd

Oct – Cambridge Junction (date TBC)

Thu 11 – Fri 12 Jul – 1.00pm | Cairde Sligo Arts Festival

Fri 02 Aug – 6.00pm | Wilderness Festival – The Forum

Fri 31 May – 8.00pm | Pound Arts Centre, Corsham

Wed 15 – 7.30pm & Sat 18 May 11.00am | Norfolk & Norwich Festival , Oxfam Norwich

Tue 26, Wed 27 ,Thu 28 Feb and Fri 01, Sat 02 & Sun 03 Mar – 7.00pm | The Little Theatre @RCC Adelaide Fringe 

Wed 15 Feb-6.30pm | Brisbane Powerhouse 

Tue 14 Feb-7.00pm | Brisbane Powerhouse

Sat 09 Feb-1.30pm | Merrigong Theatre, Wollongong

Wed 06 & Fri 08 Feb-7.30pm | Merrigong Theatre, Wollongong


Our phenomenal ME & ROBIN HOOD audiences have raised over £24,300 to date for Street Child United!

A massive, massive thank you, to you all! 


343Head DukeOur generous audiences have raised over £51,600 to support child refugees through Save the Children's since The Duke premiered. We're so grateful to you all!

On top of that audiences of THE LADDER, which begun touring this autumn, have also raised over £550 for World Wildlife Fund's Amazon Emergency.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, you are all awesome!