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Press & Reviews

Duck, Death & the Tulip

Southland Arts Festival – May 2016

A must-see for all ages – Sarah McCarthy’s review of Duck Death and the Tulip – Theatre Review

BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Terrace – April 2016

I was delighted throughout – Catherine Hart’s review of Duck Death and the Tulip – Art Murmers

Provokes many existential questions – Ashleigh Pope’s review of Duck Death and the Tulip – Theatre Review

Auckland Arts Festival – March 2016

Faultless, enjoyable, challenging & expertly made –  Lexie Matheson’s review of Duck Death and the Tulip  – Theatre Review

New Zealand wins top award at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Press Release 11th September 2014.

‘Duck, Death and the Tulip’, the children’s theatre production adapted by the New Zealand company Little Dog Barking from the book by German illustrator Wolf  Eribruch, has won the award for Outstanding Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014.

Only two such awards were given this year over the 3000 companies performing at the Fringe . Peter Wilson, Director of Little Dog Barking, said the company was thrilled.

“We are blown away. It has been totally unexpected. It affirms all our hard work, the talent of our creative team, and the faith that Creative New Zealand and our Boosted supporters have had In us to help us get to Edinburgh this year.

The award is given only when several reviewers independently agree on the quality and impact of the best shows of the Fringe.

Reviewers described the production as very gentle and simple on the surface with huge depth and power beneath.

“There is a sense of peeping into another world and it being a great privilege to do so. A world that we might be able to see in the streets of Edinburgh if we could just turn our heads quick enough. I think I had a smile on my face throughout, even when there was a lump in my throat as well. And I overheard a young adult confessing to her friend that she had cried a little as I left”  wrote reviewer Kate Saffin.

This production of ‘Duck, Death and the Tulip’ has been the brainchild of artistic director Peter Wilson. It was directed by Nina Nawalowalo, designed by Nicole Cosgrove, with award winning (Chapman Tripp Theatre Award) music by Gareth Farr and lighting design by Nigel Percy. Peter and his colleague Shona McKee McNeil performed the work in Edinburgh at Summerhall.

Fringe Review Theatre Awards – link to Fringe Review page
Peter Wilson and Shona McKee McNeil receiving the Outstanding Theatre Award.

Peter Wilson and Shona McKee McNeil receiving the Outstanding Theatre Award.

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Further reviews:

Sheer Poetry Through

The Stage Edinburgh –

Fringe Review –

The Scotsman –

BroadwayBaby –

Big laughs and big questions for little ones

Duck, Death and the Tulip delicately takes us into territory that few, if any, books and plays for children ever dare go. It’s a strange tale about Duck, who becomes aware of a shadowy friend called Death.

Peter Wilson’s adaptation of the story by the German author and illustrator Wolf Erlbruch opens with some quiet humour as Duck tracks a snail across the stage and then devours it, but as Death says at the end of the play: “That’s life.”

Death and Duck get to know each other. They have a cup of tea together, they go swimming and Death finds it cold and then gets slapped by a fish. They climb a tree. They become friends. And then Duck dies. It raises questions but mercifully provides no anodyne answers.

Gareth Farr has composed the music, Shona McNeill skilfully operates the puppets designed by Sue Hill, and Peter Wilson is an avuncular Death. Despite some moments that need tightening at its first performance, Duck, Death and the Tulip is an elegant production.


Paper Shaper

“Paper Shaper uses trickery, humour and the magic of origami to transform trash into treasure. Mysterious as well as hilarious, we join the Paper Shaper on a magical non-verbal adventure into the amazing paper world inside his bin. Full of surprises, as well great messages about recycling, strange things happen when an unsuspecting man tries to throw his plastic lunch box away!”


“This is the kind of enchanting, poetic and moving theatre that is ideal for nourishing little minds.”



Duck, Death & the Tulip

Best Composer of Music – Gareth Farr – Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards 2013

Outstanding theatre award from Fringe Review – Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014

Paper Shaper

First Asian Pacific Puppet Festival – Best International Drama 2014