Coming soon
14 Aug 2024 - 25 Aug 2024

Ugly Duckling

by Emma Reeves

With a menagerie of animals, depicted through inventive physicality, and with live music that quacks and trills, this charming production plays with ideas of identity, a sense of belonging and the journey to discover inner beauty.


Meet the most unusual duckling the pond has ever seen!

In their nest at the edge of a pond, the baby ducklings wait impatiently for Mummy’s enormous egg to hatch.  But their new brother doesn’t look like everyone else. He doesn’t even quack like a proper duckling!

Teased and called Ugly by his siblings, our hero goes on an adventure in search of a place to fit in. As the woodland trees change from dark weathered branches to silver sticks of frost, the lost and lonely fledgling hides in brushwood and stares skyward at the migrating swans, yearning to belong and marvelling at their beauty…. Where does he really belong?

Moving through all four seasons, Tutti Frutti brings to life Hans Christian Andersen’s well known tale. With a menagerie of mischievous animals, depicted through inventive physicality, and live music that quacks and trills, this charming production plays with the importance of identity and self-worth, and takes us on a journey to discover inner beauty.

-WOW, our entire school attended your production of The Ugly Duckling at the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts today in East Lansing. The majority of our students will probably have your theater experience as their ONLY live theater experience in their lifetime. I am thankful that they had a great time and were wowed by the show. 
– Audience member

I saw your show in Kerrville, Texas with my second grade class and I have never seen them laugh so hard, sit so still, and empathize so completely. An absolutely stunning play. I couldn’t stop raving about it. Still can’t. Beautifully done. Absolutely remarkable. Best field trip of the year! Thank you!!!
– Audience Member

Creative Team

Wendy Harris

Artistic Director, Chair of PYA England

Wendy has held the position of artistic director at Tutti Frutti since 2005, touring nationally and internationally, co-producing the Little Feet Festival of Children’s Theatre, and leading on the development programmes and arts engagement work.

Christella Litras

Musical Director

Christella Litras is a songwriter, musician, composer, vocal arranger, record producer, creative support officer (Leeds Playhouse) and founding member of Caution Collective. She composed the musical score for Windrush: Movement of the People by Phoenix Dance Theatre, which celebrated the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the SS Empire Windrush.

Emma Reeves

Writer Emma has won Best Children’s TV Episode at The Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards twice, and been nominated on two other occasions. Her work has won a national RTS award, an RTS Scotland award, and been nominated for two BAFTA awards and two Broadcast awards.

Catherine Chapman

Set and Costume Designer

Catherine has been a freelance designer for fifteen years. Her designs have travelled the world with audiences seeing her work in Toyko, New York and Kong Hong. She first worked with Tutti Frutti in 2005 and over the years has designed many shows for the company including Ugly Duckling, Rapunzel, Hare and Tortoise, Monday’s Child, and The Princess and The Pea.

Tayo Akinbode

Tayo’s recent work includes: Much Ado About Nothing for New English Shakespeare Company at The Dubai Opera House; The Panto That Nearly Never Was at Theatr Clwyd; Sonnet Sunday, Henry IV pt 1, pt2 and Henry V at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre; The Whip, Royal Shakespeare Company; Pulse, Bamboozle.

Nick Ash

Nick is an award-winning puppet and mask maker and has a varied career in film, TV, and theatre. In 2006, he co-founded the award-winning Scratch Built Productions, creating imaginative new shows which include Baby Boomers, Knight Time, How to be a Hero and The Three Sillies.

Rebecca Constable


Rebecca is passionate about design for performance and has gained valuable industry experience working as a designer for the Nottingham Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible Theatre, along with a designer/maker for The Lakeside Theatre Nottingham, Freedom Studios and the 2017 Connections festival.

Joanne Bernard

Movement Director & Tutti Frutti Club Associate Artist Joanne trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds. She has 18 years performance experience working for a variety of companies including Ace Dance and Music (contemporary/African fusion), Foot in Hand (disabled and able-bodied dancers) and Tutti Frutti (children’s theatre).

Touring Team

Danny Childs

Professional work includes: 12 Miles from Nowhere (Karen Simpson/Action Transport Theatre), Wishee Washee in Aladdin (Buxton Opera House) Grandson in Michael Morpurgo’s FarmBoy (Colchester Mercury/Polka Theatre), King John in King John (CreamFaced Loons) and Potty Pierre in Beauty and the Beast (Jordan Productions). Danny is also Creative Director of 'SquadFour Productions' in Manchester.  

Marcelo Cervone

Theatre credits include: Understudy in Sunny Afternoon (ATG UK Tour); Action to the Word's Dracula (Latitude Festival & Arts Theatre); Mowgli in The Jungle Book (S4K International Tour). Training: American Musical Theatre Academy of London (AMTA); BA in Performing Arts from Anglia Ruskin University.

Kirsty Smith

Kirsty is a Nottingham-based freelance stage manager. Kirsty has many years of professional experience within the theatre industry spreading out across the UK. She has toured with multiple different children's shows including The Boy Who Bit Picasso, Getting dressed, Mirror, Mirror and Tutti Frutti shows Keepy Uppy and The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Dora Rubinstein

Dora trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Credits include Cinderella (Cast, Doncaster), Digital Ghost Hunt (York Theatre Royal), Peter Pan, Aladdin (The Dukes, Lancaster), The Wizard of Oz (Leicester Square Theatre), Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth (The Young Shakespeare Company). She also performs and teaches circus skills such as contortion and acrobatics.

Information for Families

We create shows especially for children aged 3+ and their families and carers

Are you looking to introduce your children to the magic of live theatre? Find out where to see our shows, what to expect when you see a show, and how we can support your child’s learning through live performance.

Information for Families

Information for Venues, Schools & International

Information for Venues, Schools & International


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We create our shows to be easily transferred and enjoyed in a school setting.
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Would you like to bring a Tutti Frutti show to your venue? Find out more in this section.
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We are proud to have previously toured to America, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Poland.
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