Past Productions


by Deborah McAndrew

Directed by Conrad Nelson

First produced in November 2013 as a site specific piece at Burslem School of Art in Stoke-on-Trent, Ugly Duck was revived in September 2014 for performance at the New Vic Theatre.

Art and life and art…

Stoke bloke Dennis Hancock wouldn’t win any beauty competitions. A life long Port Vale fan, Dennis is rapidly decining in middle age and slowly sinking into the ranks of the long-term unemployed.


In desperation he answers an advertisement in the local paper for an artist’s Life model. But when troubled young artist, Kat Drosdzowski begins to paint him, Dennis finds himself exposed in more ways than one…

Running time approximately 2 hours
Warning – contains nudity not of a sexual nature
Age recommendation 14+

Reviews for Ugly Duck:

‘Breathlessly brilliant…’ The Sentinel
‘Poignant and funny…’ Onevalefan
‘Finely crafted and packs an emotionally powerful punch…’ Native Monster




by Deborah McAndrewIMG_0564

Directed by Conrad Nelson

A play with songs for schools, commissioned by the North Staffordshire Miners’ Wives and Stoke City Council as part of a series of arts and community events to mark 30 Years On from the Miners’ Strike

It’s 1984 and life is complicated for nine-year-old Gary Hargreaves. His mum is pregnant, his sister is a teenage pain in the neck and his dad is on strike.

Through the eyes of Gary and his sister Mandy we find out what life was like for the children of North Staffordshire mining families during that turbulent year.

Based on interviews with the real life children of the strike, this big-hearted play with songs will appeal to all ages, and to those who still remember the Miners’ Strike, thirty years on.

Digging In was performed in schools in former mining communities across the North Staffordshire coalfield, before a one off public performance at The Mitchell Arts Centre, Hanley.


Cast and Creatives in rehearsal

Left to Right: Sue Condie (Designer) Deborah McAndrew (Writer) Ruth Cataroche (Actor) Conrad Nelson (Director) Howard Chadwick (Actor) Rebekah Hughes (Musical Director)

Photographs by Kevin Hayes