DramaReviewSouth West

The Duke – The Drum, Plymouth

Written, directed and performed by: Shon Dale-Jones
Reviewer: Karen Bussell

It’s all about values.

Shon Dale-Jones, best known perhaps as Artistic Director of Hoipolloi or his chatty alter ego, Hugh Hughes, recounting tales of a drifting Anglesey or Snowden ascent, challenges The Duke’s audience to consider worth.

Tickets are free, with many venues on the tour providing the space without charge, and on leaving each viewer is asked to donate the value of their experience to Save The Children’s child refugee crisis appeal.

In the early 70s, Mr Dale-Jones senior invested in a commemorative Royal Worcester porcelain figure of The Duke of Wellington on horseback. It was kept, wrapped in sponge, in its box, under the bed and only gazed at from time to time in reverence – forming fond childhood memories. Later his widow liberated the ornament to join her in the sitting room to alleviate her loneliness.

And that is the genesis of the interwoven stories of a hoofless horse, James Bond-esque coupe, bulldog-faced policeman and a failed heist. Add mother-son love, housebreaking, a radical rewrite, a cross-country dash and the desperate plight of refugee children – and that is pretty much it.

Sentimental, financial and moral values are explored alongside the more metaphysical: is the value – whether of a seat in a refugee boat or for a piece of art or integrity – in a price tag or whatever someone is willing to pay (or do) for it?

Welshman Dale-Jones exudes engaging gentle charm as the tale, blending fact and fiction, is told with wry asides, clunky musical snippets and poignant observations.

Charming, funny and worthy.

Runs until 1 October 2016 | Image: Contributed


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Charming, funny and worthy

User Rating: 2.8 ( 1 votes)

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The Southwest team is under the editorship of Holly Spanner. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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