Resident producer Paul Ackerley said: “Get swept away into a world of wild adventure in Stiles and Drewe’s celebrated re-imagining of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So stories and their interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling, Honk! And if you book both at the same time, you get the second half-price!
“The Just So story-book is packed with quirky characters and exhilarating high-energy songs including the show-stopping number Pick Up Your Hooves and Trot. Set in an equatorial forest, the eldest magicians face a huge problem. Every time Crab goes in search of food, it destroys the livelihoods of all the animals. Stand up, curious and wide-eyed Elephant’s Child, who is sent to defeat cunning Crab and sets off on a dangerous journey to the Limpopo River with flightless, wisecracking Kolokolo Bird! Their journey is a beautiful reminder that even the smallest people can make a difference just by having a big idea!”
Ell-Barnes Ward, who plays Elephant’s Child, said: “I am over the moon playing such a fun and exciting role. I’ve been looking forward to being on stage with my peers in front of a live audience for such a long time and rehearsals confirm it’s going to be such a treat for the audience!”
Paul added: “Olivier award-winning Honk!’s song repertoire A Poultry Tail, Warts and All and The Joy of Motherhood are now contemporary musical theatre highlights the world over. When Ugly hatches they are rejected by everyone including their own father. Only Mother Ida tries to offer hope of a little love. But it’s not long before ravenous Cat spots an opportunity and entices Ugly away from home, leaving Ida to go on a desperate search of her own. Ugly soon finds new friends including the hilarious military geese and a flamboyant bullfrog, but as winter descends, will Ugly and Ida ever be reunited?”
Elijah Burris, who plays Ugly, said: “I am so excited to have been cast as Ugly. As well as being great fun, the show sends an important and resounding message of self-acceptance. It is going to be challenging to convey such a balance of comedy and pathos but I am up for the task and the training is fantastic.”
Honk!’s director Stephen Matthews added: “This brilliant young cast are throwing everything into rehearsals. I am in awe of their talent, professionalism, and energy! The audiences are in for a ducktastic treat!”
Head of musical theatre and director of Just So, Karen Howard said: “There has been a real buzz on campus with rehearsals underway. The students are thrilled to be performing at the Alexandra Theatre after a two-year absence.”
Just So, Nov 18, 7.30pm; Nov 19, 7.30pm; Nov 20, 2.30pm; Nov 20, 7.30pm; Honk!, Nov 25, 7.30pm; Nov 26, 7.30pm; Nov 27, 2.30pm; Nov 27, 7.30pm; 01243 861010; alexandratheatre.co.uk.