The Right Size’s last West End outing, Play What I Wrote, won two Olivier Awards and a Award and transferred to Broadway, but despite its title, the duo’s new offering, Ducktastic, once again directed by Kenneth Branagh, has not flown to the same heights of success. A fortnight after opening, the comedy has posted closing notices at the West End’s Albery Theatre. Originally booking until 15 July 2006, it will now finish on 19 November 2005 after a run of just one month. For the final weeks, all tickets, normally priced up to £42.50, have been slashed to £10 each.

Similar to how The Play What I Wrote was inspired by Morecambe and Wise, Ducktastic is inspired by Siegfried and Roy, the flamboyant, German-born magicians who’ve been entertaining Las Vegas audiences for more than 30 years. However, whereas Siegfried and Roy have built their act around white Siberian tigers, the Right Size’s show is, as the title suggests, built around white ducks.

In Ducktastic - which had an out-of-town tryout in Newcastle in September before a postponed opening at the Albery on 19 October (previews from 11 October) - McColl plays world famous illusionist Christophe Ursula Sassoon who, after an accident with an emu, loses his license to perform in Las Vegas. He teams up with Foley’s Roy de La Rue (né Street), a pet shop proprietor from Portsmouth, to form Sassoon & Roy and put on a new West End show.

The new play reunites the Right Size with actor-turned-director Branagh and designer Alice Power from The Play What I Wrote, as well as producer David Pugh. In addition to a flock of birds, the Ducktastic cast also features Liz Crowther, Clive Hayward, Alex Kelly, Ruby Snape and Daphne (the duck). The show is choreographed by Michael Rooney (son of Mickey), with lighting and special effects by Patrick Woodroffe, original music by Steve Parry and magic by Simon Drake.

The Play What I Wrote won two Oliviers for Best New Comedy and Best Supporting Actor for diminutive dogsbody Toby Jones and a Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Ensemble Performance. In addition to two West End seasons, the play transferred to Broadway and toured the UK extensively. The Right Size’s other stage plays have included Bewilderness, Do You Come Here Often? and Mr Puntila and His Man Matti.

No further productions have yet been announced for the Albery.

- by Terri Paddock