Shows H

HONK! Book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe; Music by George Stiles First staged at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe's adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Ugly Duckling" is a wonderful treat for family audiences. Julia McKenzie directed it at Scarborough for the 1997 Christmas season and it is now released for performance by professional and amateur theatre companies. A gaggle of farmyard characters join the naïve, but loveable, Ugly in his rites-of-passage journey from misrepresented duckling to elegant swan. Peril lies around every corner, usually in the shape of the ravenous Cat, but Ugly receives help from unlikely sources and wins through thanks to his sheer good-naturedness. The new musical based on one of the world's favourite fairy-tales, Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling. Ugly is born, of course, as a Duckling but is soon becomes clear that he is no ordinary Duck. Mocked on the farmyard, pursued by the ever-hungry Cat, Ugly finds himself lost on a nearby marsh in the middle of a duck-shoot and embarks on an odyssey through the countryside, meeting a battery of colourful characters and finding himself, and love, along the way. With a tuneful score, witty lyrics and book, Honk! confirms that Drewe and Stiles are "the brightest hopes for the future of the British musical" Daily Telegraph. THE STORY (you thought you knew) Spring has sprung in the duckyard. Drake, the Mallard Duck, and his long-suffering partner, Ida, await the birth of a new brood, but the clutch seems to contain one inordinately large eqg? this year. Sure enough, it cracks open to reveal an ugly chick nothing like his siblings who makes a strange 'Honk" sound instead of the expected "Quack". Ida warms to him, though, and takes him out onto the lake, discovering him to be a prodigious swimmer, but the other farmyard birds, including the rest of his family, ridicule him, driving him into the eager arms of the Tom Cat, who invites him home for "dinner". Ugly escapes by the skin of his teeth, to the Cat's chagrin, but with night failing Ugly becomes lost and, amid much fluster and flurrying of feathers, particularly from Ida, a search is launched. Next day, Ugly finds himself on open marshland in the middle of a duck shoot. He is taken under the wing of Graylag, a pompous Goose, under the mistaken impression that he has had a glorious career in the military, and, though the Cat appears just at that moment, the birds take off and escape. Ugly finds a small cottage, home to a domesticated Hen, Lowbutt, and her feline companion, Queenie. The Cat appears yet again, but luckily develops an instant attraction for Queenie, which soon becomes mutual. The search back at the farmyard has become frantic but Ugly is further from home than ever and it seems he will never find his way back. With the onset of freezing winter, his prospects are bleak, but meeting a beautiful young Swan named Penny changes his fortune. She invites him to migrate for the winter and although he declines, desperately wanting to find his "Mother", the Swans return in the spring and help Ida find him just in the nick of time, paving the way for a triumphant return to the farmyard. CAST Honk!: - 4 male, 4 female, 4 children (can be expanded) Doubling - Honk! was written as an ensemble piece for a cast comprising 4 men, 4 women and 4 children who play, between them, some 30 different roles. In previous professional productions, where cast size is a major financial consideration, the doubling of roles has been as follows:- Men 1 - UGLY 2 - CAT 3 - DRAKE, GREYLAG and FARMER (voice only)