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Shôn Dale-Jones (Cracking, Floating, Story Of A Rabbit) presents his Fringe First-winning, one-man storytelling show mixing fantasy and reality and gently challenging us to consider our priorities in a world full of crisis


In 1974 my father invested £750 (£9,800 in today’s money) in a Royal Worcester porcelain figure of The Duke of Wellington on horseback – made to celebrate his victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. He kept the figure we affectionately called The Duke, wrapped in sponge, in a big box, under his bed. After he died in 2001, my mother decided to take the figure out and display it on the table in the bay window. Since 2005 I’ve been working on a film script, which is in the very final stages of development. In the spring of 2024 I sit at my desk waiting for an email that will tell me what I need to do to the script to get it onto the screen. I turn the radio on. I listen to a report about the refugee crisis. My mother calls. She tells me she’s broken The Duke. My mother, my film script and the refugee crisis all need my attention.

Funny and poignant, The Duke is a one-man show by Shôn Dale-Jones, combining original storytelling with an inventive spirit.

The Duke weaves together the tragi-comic fate of a family heirloom – a porcelain figure of The Duke of Wellington, the quandary of a scriptwriter stretching his integrity and an unfolding disaster as thousands of children flee their homes. Blending fantasy and reality, this playful show gently challenges our priorities in a world full of crisis.

The Duke received The Scotsman’s Fringe First Award when it premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016 and was highly commended in the Sit Up and Act Awards and it has received 20 4-star reviews. In early 2018 The Duke was made into a radio play for BBC Radio 4, achieving ‘Pick of the Week’ and was nominated for a Prix Europa Award in the ‘Best European Radio Fiction’ category.

“Engaging and complex, existing somewhere between truth and fiction, drama and radio, fantasy and reality. Dale-Jones is a natural and immediately likeable storyteller.”
★★★★ The List

“He makes the real world seem wondrous and, in that, The Duke is its own antidote: art that alleviates, but also art that does its bit. Rather than presuming to lecture and guilt-trip us, it gently sets us thinking, then provides buckets for donations to Save the Children… You won’t find a show with a bigger, better heart.”
★★★★ What’s On Stage

“Legend of the Edinburgh Festival.”
The Stage

“The great Welsh storyteller.”
Lyn Gardner

  • Dates: Fri 4th & Sat 5th Oct 2024
  • Show time: 7.30pm
  • Tickets: £12
  • Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)
  • Suitable for: Ages 14+
  • Theatre
  • Connect with the artist:

  • Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)
  • Suitable for: Ages 14+
  • Connect with the artist: