As a year group we went to the Playhouse to watch The Ugly Duckling, which is a play based on the original tale and associated with the anti-bullying campaign. Although the play was relatively amateur, I was impressed with the children’s performances and I thought the set was simple but effective. I really liked how they used different children in each scene to represent the ugly duckling, in different scenarios, so that the children in the audience could relate to the story more, rather than just seeing it as an actual duckling transforming into a swan.
This was done through use of costume and props, e.g. one child had a guitar, other children had various pieces of uniform so we got the impression we were in a school environment despite the set being relatively ambiguous.
There was also an intereting use of time within the play, as the story seemed to be narrated by Hans Christian Anderson, who wrote the original, and he was wearing period costume which contrasted with the modern uniforms of the children. Towards the end of the production he became a child himself and merged in with the others, which suggested to me that he may have felt like the outsider himself, as we had discussed when reading the Tin Soldier.