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. The Duke has been commissioned into a radio play by the BBC and was BBC Radio 4’s Play of the Week earlier in the year.

Since premiering in 2016, The Duke audience members raised over £47,500 for the worthy cause and we’re hoping to continue to raise even more money with the show in 2018. To 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


Fri 30 Mar – 6.00pm | Joan Knight Studio – Perth Theatre | 01738 472 700

Tue 03 – Thu 05 Apr – 8.00pm  | Traverse | 0131 228 1404

Mon 40 Apr – 7.00pm & 8.30pm | Mary’s Living and Giving Kew


Wed 02 May  – 8.00pm | Marlowe Studio | 01227 787 787

Thu 10 May – 8.00pm | The Lyric Theatre, Bridport | 01308 424 901

Wed 30 May – 7.15pm | Mary’s Living and Giving Blackheath | 020 8463 9266

Wed 06 – Thu 07 Jun – 7.45pm | HOME | 0161 200 1500

Sat 07 July – 6.30pm & Sun 08 July 3.30pm | International Youth Arts Festival, Kingston | 020 8174 0090

Wed 01 – Mon 13 Aug 12.45pm | Edinburgh Fringe – Upstairs Pleasance Courtyard

Fri 24 Aug | Carlisle Fringe – Old Fire Station | 01228 812 611

Fri 21 Sep – 7.45pm | Salisbury Playhouse | 01722 320 333

Fri 05 Oct – 7.30pm | Quarterhouse | 01303 760 750

Tue 30 Oct – Sat 03 Nov – 8.00pm | Tobacco Factory | 0117 902 0344


Our phenomenal ME & ROBIN HOOD audiences have raised over £20,000 for Street Child United this year! A massive thank you, to you all! And the good news is, we're back this spring, hoping to raise more money towards the 2018 Street Child United World Cup.

Click on the link below for a full list of:

2018 Tour Dates 


343Head DukeOur generous audiences have raised £47,500 towards Save the Children's Child Refugee Appeals since The Duke premiered in 2016. We're so grateful to you all and hope to continue to increase this phenomenal amount throughout 2018.

For a list of where to see The Duke in 2018, click here.