The Ugly Duckling’s Big Waddle

What a fantastic summer we have been having here at Above Bounds, as our Ugly Duckling has been waddling his way across the UK on our first UK tour of our work! Thanks to support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Exeter City Council and Kingsteignton Town Council, we have been taking our show ‘The Ugly Duckling & Other Tales’ and workshop to some fantastic venues across the UK.


We began back in July, after a week of R&D at the Bike Shed Theatre’s Unit Space, working with Becky Dobson, a fantastic addition to the Above Bounds Team playing Emily Snee’s music. Our first performance with performance at Midsummer Dreams Festival at Dartington Hall, a fabulous children’s theatre festival set in the gorgeous estate. The performance was really well attended and we were ready to hit the road.

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Next stop was the Unpacked Children’s Theatre Festival at the Exeter Phoenix, curated by Paddleboat Theatre. Here, we received our BRAND NEW set by Nina Raines and we were so excited to start working with it. Both of our shows were SOLD OUT and we were so pleased to return to the festival (you might remember we previewed our shadow puppetry workshops at the festival last summer).

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After a fantastic festival, it was off to Suffolk with 2 shows and a workshop at The Seagull Theatre in Lowestoft. George’s family live in Lowestoft and as a company, we are keen to make connections in both the East and West. This was our first performance in the South East and it was a lovely one. Our audiences loved meeting our Ugly Duckling and singing along to the music. We also had a Company trip to the beach- a must when visiting Lowestoft.

Upon returning from Lowestoft, we ran a series of workshops supported by Exeter City Council and taking place at Exeter Libraries. We visited Exeter Central Library, Pinhoe Library and St Thomas Library, engaging with local residents and encouraging little ones (and big ones) alike to make shadow puppets. We have been so inspired by these workshops, often the participants make better puppets than ours! We are hoping to return to the Libraries at Christmas, so keep a look out for more information soon!

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Our next performances were at The Plough in Torrington and The Poly in Falmouth. We gained a brand new banner to advertise these performances and even did some singing on the street in Falmouth! It’s been fantastic to visit these lovely areas on tour and to perform to audiences who haven’t previously engaged with our work. Here’s a picture of our technician Nathan setting up in the Plough:

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Next up, we are at the Tacchi-Morris on Saturday 16th September, Crediton Arts Centre on Saturday 23rd September, Tiverton Community Arts Theatre on Saturday 30th September and Victoria Hall Radstock on Sunday 8th October. Tickets are on sale NOW take a look and buy yours now- tickets available via the link on our homepage.


We’ll be back with another blog soon! Please do share your photos from the show with us, we love to see them.

Helen & George

Above Bounds X