New Port Vale play opens next week

New Port Vale play opens next week

Here’s a further reminder that a brand-new play about fictional Port Vale supporter Dennis Hancock will be performed in Burslem from Wednesday 13th to Saturday 16th November.

The play will be performed in November as a site-specific piece in the Art Room at the Burslem School of Art, and then transfer to mac Birmingham to headline at Capital Theatre Festival 2013.

UGLY DUCK is a comedy about an unemployed middle-aged Stoke bloke, Dennis Hancock, who in desperation takes a job as an artist’s Life model. Having never done anything like it before, Dennis finds he is only able to take his clothes off if he can keep his Port Vale hat on!

Dennis discovers unexpected friends in the troubled young artist, Kat Drosdzowski and her overbearing parents; and as he is painted, he finds himself exposed in more ways than one…

Writer and claybodytheatre founder Deborah McAndrew explains her inspiration to write the play, and her growing love affair with Stoke-on-Trent: “We moved to North Staffs as a family 12 years ago and I knew very little about the area – though I’m a passionate collector of pots. I found Stoke-on-Trent to be a very complicated place – full of creativity and contradictions. I could also see that it had its problems, but the warmth and resilience of the people impressed me enormously. Eventually, after about a decade, I felt cheeky enough to set a play in Stoke – Burslem to be precise. A play about a regular bloke, but rooted in the artistic heritage of the 6 towns.”

Director and co-founder of claybodytheatre Conrad Nelson says: “We have been overwhelmed by the positive response from local people, businesses and organisations to our company and our play. People are genuinely excited about the prospect of a professional theatre company taking up residence right in the heart of Burslem.”

The project has attracted support and sponsorship from Titanic Brewery, BareWALL and The Prince’s Charities – and Moorland Pottery has produced a beautiful UGLY DUCK mug in their house style to accompany the production – on sale now at BareWALL in Burslem and Hanley, and The School of Art.

The play carries a 14+ warning, due to the nudity.

Find out more about claybody theatre here.

Watching UGLY DUCK


  • Weds 13 to Sat 16th Nov: 7:30pm
  • Saturday matinee: 2:30pm

Tickets are available from Barewall –

Or Burslem School of Art – 01782 258843

Ticket prices:

£10 (£5 consessions)


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