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By Neil Duffield

Based on the Hans Andersen story

Previous productions:

The Watermill Theatre, Newbury (2003)

Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham (2003)

The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster (2002)

Minimum cast 5. Original songs.

What the press had to say:

‘Following last year's success with The Firebird, the ever-ingenious Watermill goes one better with this Hans Christian Andersen-based tale, and ensures that a young audience and the adults accompanying them, are kept spellbound.....Neil Duffield's adaptation refreshingly requires more of its spectators than the average festive fare. It asks them to make subtle and valuable differentiations between true of heart and false of mind, and real value as opposed to material worth....Grab the nearest child and take to the M4'. LONDON EVENING STANDARD

'....this reworking of the Hans Christian Andersen story tells of the Chinese emperor who imprisons the songbird in a cage. Although Neil Duffield includes that aspect in his excellent version, he broadens its scope to create an adventure story that speaks eloquently of the prisons we create for ourselves....the whole thing seems somehow much more than it is, and has the rare quality of being as entertaining for an adult as it is for a small child.....A little treasure box of a show.' THE GUARDIAN

'There is a welcome new seriousness in some of the seasonal shows, but I defy anyone not to be touched and delighted by Fiona Laird's enchanting production.....Good stuff.'  SUNDAY TIMES

If you only ask for one thing this Christmas make it a ticket to see the Dukes’ production of The Emperor and the Nightingale. Entertaining for both adults and children alike, the Hans Christian Andersen classic has been superbly adapted by Neil Duffield into what must be described as one of the finest examples of children’s theatre.’ LANCASTER GUARDIAN

‘It is theatrical and intelligent, resisting the urge to dumb down to hysterical panto levels, keeping its audience absorbed in the tale of Wu, the boy emperor who breaks free from the prison of his palace to discover the beauty and enchantment of the world outside, helped by his servant and friend Xiao and the spellbinding song of the nightingale.’    LANCASHIRE EVENING POST

‘Children were entranced by the whole performance’  WESTMORLAND GAZETTE

‘Children sat completely mesmerized for the entire hour and a half. Even my four year old who doesn’t have the longest attention span in the world, was transfixed by the show…. The Emperor and the Nightingale is a great family show.’  THE VISITOR

‘ enthralling piece of theatre - a properly stylised folk-tale but with a strong undertow of real emotion....altogether an exemplary production.’ THE STAGE

©2002 Neil Duffield, All Rights Reserved.