Actors put on a ‘cracking’ show

The Ugly Duckling performed by the Northumberland Theatre Company.'Picture by Jane Coltman
The Ugly Duckling performed by the Northumberland Theatre Company.'Picture by Jane Coltman

Northumberland’s professional theatre company proved once again it is worth its weight in gold with a fantastic new adpation of The Ugly Duckling by Neil Duffield.

The small group of only five actors provided lots of laughs in this hilarious reworking of Hans Christain Anderson’s moral tale.

The Ugly Duckling performed by the Northumberland Theatre Company.'Picture by Jane Coltman

The Ugly Duckling performed by the Northumberland Theatre Company.'Picture by Jane Coltman

 This heart-warming production, which is full of catchy tunes, was a hit not just with the children but the parents in the audience too.

The story centres on the birth of young Desdemona Duck (Natalie Simone).

It isn’t long before everyone around her starts to realise that there is something just a little bit different about her.

Desdemona is born into a world where interfering hens and cocky roosters are obsessed by the way people look.

The Ugly Duckling performed by the Northumberland Theatre Company.'Picture by Jane Coltman

The Ugly Duckling performed by the Northumberland Theatre Company.'Picture by Jane Coltman

Bullied by the others, the young duck runs away from the comforts of the farm and into the path of the evil Mr Fox (Louis Roberts), who steals her brother and sister, Dilly (Laura Jayne Ayres) and Dally (Robert Pegge), to be served up for tea.

The story is more than just a warming festive tale, it’s full of love with a morale at the end.

The story is about growing up, finding your own identity and a mother’s struggle to protect her child – and not judging a book by its cover.

The five actors proved how versatile they all were as all but two took on multiple roles.

The Ugly Duckling performed by the Northumberland Theatre Company.'Picture by Jane Coltman

The Ugly Duckling performed by the Northumberland Theatre Company.'Picture by Jane Coltman

This is the third time I’ve seen Louis Roberts perform in one of NTC’s shows and each time I’ve seen him, he brings a completely new feel to the character he is playing.

He really led the show with his portrayal of three very different characters.

Eleanor Dennison also makes a welcome return to NTC alongside Laura Jayne Ayres and Robert Pegge, who was masterful in operating the light and sound board as well as performing on stage.

NTC newby Natalie Simone was also a pleasure to watch.

I also enjoyed the fact that she, as the main character, remained as a single character throughout as it gave us, the audience, a feel of who the main protagonist was. This and the fact that Dennison remained as her mother helped to really bring home the relantionship between a mother and daughter.

The tour, which included more than 30 dates within the next month, is travelling around the UK until the end of January.

Other local dates include: Glanton Village Hall on December 13; Bamburgh Pavilion on December 19; Capheaton Village Hall on December 23 and 24; Craster Village Hall on January 2; Longhorsley Village Hall on January 13; Blyth Methodist Church on Janurary 16; Etal Village Hall on January 19 and Stakeford Methodist Church on January 26.

For further information on the times and dates of the tour, visit www.northumberlandtheatre.co.uk