Aug 10 2015 | By More

★★★★☆   Smashing

Young critics scheme review
Broughton High School (Venue 207): Sat 8 – Sat 15 Aug 2015

Fun and entertaining, Honk!, Anthony Drewe’s modern adaptation of The Ugly Duckling performed as part of Captivate Theatre’s three week Fringe Experience, adds depth to a timeless classic.

The play follows Ugly (Alex Gavin)’s journey from when he hatches as an outcast and then finds himself lost. He is hunted every step of the way by the not so cunning Cat (Jamie Duffy) and his diligent mother Ida (Molly Constanti). Full of heart-warming moments and humour, this is a truly emotional story of an ugly duckling’s transformative journey.

Ida and ducklings. Photo Tony Cook

Ida (Molly Constanti) and ducklings. Photo Tony Cook

Scenes with the whole cast are a testament to director Sally Lyall’s hard work. They are well-organised and clever – especially the sequence to create the blizzard and aid Ugly’s transformation. Musical Director Ian Sutherland excels at conducting his band and, despite the large numbers, each member of the cast gives their all during songs which helps create a well-rounded choral sound.

Molly Constanti as Ida is a wonderfully strong female lead as she creates a very mumsy character and displays her emotions beautifully. Her outstanding voice is complemented by Henriette (Holly Foxwell) and Maureen (Iona Meier) in The Joy of Motherhood. Alex Gavin, as Ugly, really shines when singing – especially in his duet Hold Your Head Up High with Ida.

On his journey Ugly meets a whole host of different characters: the goose squadron leader Greylag (James Stark) and his wife/air hostess Dot (Frankie Blair) who promise to help him find his farm. He has an interesting encounter with domesticated pets Queenie (Lily Constanti) and Lowbutt (Orla Faith Ryan) which highlights the divide between the welcoming wild animals and the snooty domesticated ones.

Ugly (Alex Gavin) and the Bullfrogs (Callum and Joshua Grant). Photo Tony

Ugly (Alex Gavin) and the Bullfrogs (Callum and Joshua Grant). Photo Tony Cook

He then goes on to meet the Bullfrogs (Callum and Joshua Grant) who, through their humour and song, help him to come to terms with his looks and to not feel so downhearted. Ugly comes close to realising his swan heritage when he frees Penny (Robin McGillivray), a young swan, from a fishing line.

Drake (Aidan Cross), Ugly’s father, pulls focus well at the start of the play as he stands out amidst the farmyard chaos. His singing is excellent and he delivers some of the more humorous lines with egg-cellent poultry puns. The other ducklings (Rosy Constanti, Sophie Gee, Maddie Gee, Matthew Gavin and Lily Ewing) are adorable and perform their role of outcasting Ugly well.

A production full of outstanding performances, Captivate Theatre does this little known musical great justice. Full of jokes, enthusiasm and great songs you can’t help but leave with a smile on your face.

Running time 2 hours 15 minutes
Broughton High School (Venue 207) 29 East Fettes Avenue, EH4 1EG
Saturday 8 – Saturday 15 August 2015
Odd dates: 2pm; even dates: 6.30pm.
Book tickets on the EdFringe website: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/honk
Captivate Theatre website: http://www.captivatetheatre.com/


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