Produced by Hoipolloi in association with Save The Children, The Duke is Shon Dale-Jones’s new solo show which is currently at The Liverpool Everyman, made to raise money for child refugees. It is a very relaxed atmosphere as the audience enter the auditorium to find their seats; Dale-Jones is seated on the stage at his desk twiddling with the mini sound desk and his laptop. He has solo control of the music throughout his hour long show and takes his time introducing himself and making sure that his audience are okay before he begins.
The story is based around three things that happen to Dale-Jones at the same time. Between 2005 and 2015, he has written a film script that has the potential to make him a lot of money, and at that moment he is waiting for an email to tell him what final changes are needed to the script. Whilst he is waiting for the email to arrive, he switches on the radio and listens to a report about the refugee crisis. Then he takes a call from his mother who tells him that the porcelain figure of The Duke of Wellington has broken. His mother, his script and the refugee crisis all need his attention.
Dale-Jones has a very natural way of connecting with his audience, his delivery is quick and it is very easy to be absorbed in the pictures that he creates. Music plays an important part, breaking up the narrative that allows him to create the next scene, and injects humour into the tale. There is a playful mix of fantasy and reality and a very good story that is funny and poignant.
Very well written and also a well thought out script in terms of mixing in the real issues that are obviously the driving force for producing this show. Dale-Jones has the balance just right and has made this a very accessible, topical and entertaining show.
Everyman Theatre Liverpool
PR Rating: ****
The Duke runs until 07 May at the Liverpool Everyman. For more details about the show please visit: http://www.everymanplayhouse.com/whats-on