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The Chronicles of Bitter & Twisted

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Two storytelling puppeteers charm the audience as they set the background and lakeside context for the story of what happened after the well-loved tale of The Ugly Duckling".

Bitter, the duck brought up by swans journeys around the lake, meeting other birds and learning things about herself. There are a few "he's behind you" moments, a black coot pyramid in shadow puppets and some inventive uses of a compact, bright set to reveal an X-Factor-style judging panel of birds.

It's a story of identity, being different and bullying all wrapped up in a way that engages a captivated young audience. The puppets are believable, the singing entertaining, the Ugly Duckling character intriguing and the actors entrancing. It probably works best for an audience slightly younger than the recommended age group of 7+, but adults will love it too.

- Caroline Pearce


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