The show opened in 1993, with great success, at the Watermill with the title THE UGLY DUCKLING or THE AESTHETICALLY-CHALLENGED FARMYARD FOWL, directed by Steven Dexter and designed by Francis O’Connor – the same team who were responsible for the Christmas 2007 version of the show.
In 1997 the fabulous Julia McKenzie came on board as director and persuaded Sir Alan Ayckbourn to take the show at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough for Christmas. Together with designer Peter McKintosh and choreographer Aletta Collins, Julia created a blue print for the show, under its new title HONK!
HONK’s big break came in 1999 when Sir Trevor Nunn invited Julia’s production onto the Olivier stage at the Royal National Theatre.
The show was expanded and, to everyone’s amazement, ourselves included, in February 2000 HONK! won the Olivier for Best New Musical beating both The Lion King and Mamma Mia.
Since then the show has been seen in over 8000 different productions around the world, winning many awards along the way.
Anthony has personally directed it in South Africa, Chicago, Tokyo and Singapore, and has seen the show in Iceland, Denmark, Netherlands, Israel and Finland.
It has also been produced in Hawaii, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Ireland, Australia. New Zealand, and Thailand as well as countless productions in the UK and USA.