Freak Out At The Morecambe Mermaid
9th August 2011
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Freak out at the Morecambe Mermaid


A little known shocker by Dickens mixed with Morecambe’s latest maritime myth produces a sinister visual treat at The Dukes this autumn. 


Captain Murderer and the Morecambe Mermaid which runs from September 1-3, is a pitch-black musical comedy, exploring the history and real, hard lives of fairground freaks. 


After many adventures, a washed-up mermaid ends up in a washed-up sideshow, the last resort of a drink-addled clown and his foul-mouthed daughter. As the fortunes of the British seaside decline, the troupe is forced into increasingly outrageous and demeaning public performances, while alcoholism, drug addiction and sheer desperation tighten their grip. And the jokes come thick and fast.

Captain Murderer and the Morecambe Mermaid is a fast-moving parade of puppets and masks, illusions and projections, burlesque queens and geeks performed in The Round and recommended for anyone aged 16 plus. 


It has been created by long-time collaborators John Barber and Lisa Howard – aka Captain Mermaid Theatre Company – and features original songs by John Newman-Holden, The Dukes production and operations manager. 

This new play, produced in association with The Dukes and  premiered at the Lancaster theatre, is supported by the Arts Council of England. 


Tickets are priced £10, concessions £2 off, and standing tickets £5. 


A post-show talkback, free to ticketholders, takes place on September 2. 


A number of workshops will also be hosted by The Dukes in connection with this show at a cost of £10 each.  There’s a Puppetry Masterclass for anyone aged 18 plus on August 23 at 7pm; a First Steps in Puppetry workshop for anyone aged 12 plus on August 27 from 10.30am; and Creating a Character using Masks workshop for anyone aged 16 plus on September 3 at 10.30am. 


For more information or to book, ring The Dukes box office on 01524 598500 or visit

Editor’s Notes


Captain Murderer and the Morecambe Mermaid is the first show of The Dukes 40th Anniversary Season. 


The Dukes theatre and cinema in Lancaster first opened its doors in 1971 and to celebrate 40years of producing homegrown shows,  it’s opening a pub. 


From October 6-29, The Dukes will transform one of its spaces – The Round – into a pub for  a version of Jim Cartwright’s Two, set in a bar in the 1980s.

Also in The Round on October 13-15, there will be three performances of another homegrown play - Hi Vis  - starring Lancaster actress Christine Mackie, soon to be seen in TV’s Downton Abbey.

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