The Ugly Duckling heads to Swindon theatre for Christmas

By Jessica Durston - 8 October 2021

Arts and CultureFamily

WhatNot Theatre will be retelling the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale at Swindon's Shoebox Theatre.

The show will run from 18 - 24 December and has been created for younger children aged 2 and over, and their families.

A spokesperson for the show prefaces the performance: "Dotty the Duckling was not like her brothers and sisters. Since the day she hatched from her enormous egg she always knew she was a little different from all the other ducklings! Wanting to learn more about the world outside her pond and find out who she really is, she packs her bag and sets off on an epic adventure of discovery."

The show will also include music by local musician Gary Bamford, which has been composed to appeal to a younger audience.

Gary said: “We will be using creative storytelling and playful music to inspire the children’s imaginations! Above all, we want the show to be lots of fun and a positive experience for both parents and children. The performances will be relaxed with gentler sound and lighting and none of the ‘rules’ that normally come with a theatre performance. It’s going to be quackers!”

Lucy Hoult is the co-founder of WhatNot Theatre. She will also be playing 'Dotty' in The Ugly Duckling.

She said: “The Ugly Duckling has always been a favourite of ours, so we were delighted when the opportunity came up to reimagine it for the Shoebox Theatre. 

"The show is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s original tale, but we have given it a reboot and added a few of our own touches, including a rather plucky ‘Dotty’ the duckling and an adventurous swan inspired by the pilot Amelia Earhart!”

Tickets for The Ugly Duckling are priced at £7.50.

More event and booking information can be found at

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