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Previewed 11 October 2005, Opened 19 October 2005, Closed 19 November 2005 at the Noel Coward Theatre in London
Hamish McColl and Sean Foley present their new comedy Ducktastic! in London directed by Kenneth Branagh.
Las Vegas Comes to London! Christophe Ursula Sassoon is in the last chance saloon of his career - all his hopes for a return to Las Vegas ride on his show Ducktastic! at London's All Berry (!) Theatre (this theatre was previously called 'The Albery Theatre'). Roy de la Rue, who is in fact Roy Street, a pet shop owner from Portsmouth, volunteers to help Sassoon out with a trick... but is there real magic in the air tonight... and can Daphne the duck save the day?...
This new comedy takes as its inspiration the world famous Las Vegas based magic act Siegfried and Roy who where noted for using white Siberian tigers in their act. Ducktastic! uses white ducks instead!.Written by and starring Hamish McColl and Sean Foley and directed by Kenneth Branagh, this comedy is staged by by the same team that staged the smash hit, guest star studded show The Play What I Wrote which enjoyed two sell-out season at the Wyndham's Theatre in 2001 and 2002 totalling a run of eight months. Their other credits include Do You Come Here Often? at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1998.
"Ducktastic is the second show from the gang who brought us The Play What I Wrote, a hilarious homage to Erie and Ernie. Kenneth Branagh's shambolic new show is more of a homespun spit-and-sawdust celebration of British variety acts - a box of magic tricks, illusions, double entendres, pratfalls, sequins, ostrich feathers and a real flock of luvvie ducks. Delightful and daft as it is, it's short on the 'ooh, aah, wow' factor." The Mail on Sunday
"The new show from Hamish McColl and Sean Foley is a boisterous tribute to Siegfried & Roy-style stage magic. Yet, despite the constant vigorous thrust of innuendo, some spectacular set-pieces and big-hearted direction from Kenneth Branagh, in true duck fashion, it's a bit lame... You can feel yourself yearning, straining to love this show, but the truth is, beyond the theatrical in jokes and the knowing gaucheness, it has the style and wit of an off-colour episode of Rent-a-ghost." The Sunday Times
"Love a duck - what's this from the duo that gave us the riotous Morecambe and Wise tribute, The Play What I Wrote? Again directed by Kenneth Branagh, Sean Foley and Hamish McColl, assisted by Daphne the (live) duck, are now paying homage to illusionists. Did I say homage? Perhaps not. For despite fancy magic, including chopping a woman in half and shooting Foley from a cannon, the show is made up mainly of excruciating jokes and a running gag in which Daphne (not live) talks. It's a hit-and-miss affair from two of Britain's most eccentric comic minds but if you enjoy corn as much as ducks do, you'll be quacking with delight. Incidentally, the magic consultant working with the duck is named Simon Drake. Honestly!" The Sun
The technical principles of stage illusion and magic have remained almost unchanged for the last 160 or so years. It is the 'glorious wrapping', the stories that turn those inventive techniques into magic, that has moved with the times. And no wrapping was more glorious than that devised by the sensational Las Vegas magic act Siegfried and Roy. Their combination of live white tigers, mind-boggling illusions and beautifully judged camp showbiz excess put them at the top of American showbusiness for over a decade. Ducktastic owes its inspiration to their amazing entertainment. But with one crucial difference - they had 20 Bengal tigers, Ducktastic has a white duck. Also unlike Siegfried and Ray, the magicians in Ducktastic - Christopher Ursula Sassoon and Ray de le Rue - get lost in their own show, their 'magic' seemingly out of control. To be sure, like the magicians of old, they have dressed up their illusions with stories that they hope will touch the audience's hearts end reveal the Mysteries of Nature; unfortunately for them, their duck-themed extravaganza bites, or rather quacks, back at them.
Ducktastic! in London at the Noel Coward Theatre previewed from 11 October 2005, opened on 19 October 2005 and closed on 19 November 2005.