The Duke

Shôn Dale-Jones

Hoipolloi

Pleasance Courtyard

From 03 August 2016 to 29 August 2016

Rating: ****

Review by Philip Fisher

Shôn Dale-Jones has forsaken his lovable alter ego, Hugh Hughes for this show but the quirky, quaint spirit remains.

The Duke is a rambling tale delivered through a microphone with a carefully chosen musical accompaniment via a laptop.

The story that it relates is largely autobiographical, though we are warned that some names and facts have been changed for artistic reasons.

The starting point occurs over 40 years ago when the writer’s father bought an expensive Royal Worcester porcelain model of The Duke of Wellington on a horse.

Worth around £8,100 in today’s terms, it has become a family heirloom, or was until Mum detached the base from the horse’s legs.

Our micro hero’s efforts to replace the piece combine with the pressures of persuading a heartless producer to turn a story very similar to Floating into a movie and concern over the terrible experiences of boat people.

The result is a genuinely heart-warming and amusing story that is being presented without charge, viewers being asked to make a contribution to Save the Children instead.

One hopes that Mr Dale-Jones will set up a sponsorship site online to maximise the help he gives to children isolated from their families by conflict but go along, enjoy and help this worthy cause.