THE DAME at the Ustinov Studio

Peter Duncan stars as a music hall legend with a dark past


Performed by PETER DUNCAN

Written by Katie Duncan

Directed by Ian Talbot

Ustinov Studio, Friday 24 January

Olivier Award nominated actor and former Blue Peter daredevil stars in a poignant and funny drama about a fading music hall legend. A lost world of seaside entertainment, piers and promenades is brought to life when seasoned pantomime Dame Ronald Roy Humphrey returns to his Northern roots. As the curtain falls on the last show of the day, Roy is in a wistful, melancholic mood, but as the years fall away, ghosts and memories from the past confront him with what he has spent his whole life trying to forget.,

THE DAME takes the audience on a journey inside the entertainer’s mind to expose the fragile creature beneath the make-up. However many masks we wear, the truth will always be revealed…

Peter Duncan returns to the Bath stage for the first time in twenty five years, when he played the Scarecrow in the RSC’s national tour of The Wizard of Oz. He is well-loved by a generation of Blue Peter viewers as the daredevil presenter who flew on a trapeze, trained with the Royal Marines, ran in the first London Marathon and cleaned the face of Big Ben’s clock tower without a safety harness, leading to his own TV series, Duncan Dares. Either side of his time on the programme, Duncan has had a distinguished stage career which began playing juvenile leads for Laurence Olivier at the National Theatre, before training at the Italia Conti School; musical theatre roles in Me & My GirlThe Card (which toured to the Theatre Royal Bath and for which he received his Olivier Award nomination) and Hairspray, and straight theatre performances in Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong and Macbeth at the Regents’ Park Theatre.

Pantomime is in the Duncan family blood – Peter wrote and produced the Oxford Playhouse pantomime for eight years, and his parents were both performers who staged old time music hall shows on Brighton’s West Pier and pantomimes in Tunbridge Wells. THE DAME is written by his daughter Katie Duncan, and comes to Bath after successful appearances at the Edinburgh Festival and in London, for which she earned a Most Promising New Writer nomination in the 2019 OFFIES (The Off-West End Awards). THE DAME is directed by Ian Talbot, Artistic Director of Regent’s Park Theatre for over twenty years,

“An undeniably diverting turn by Peter Duncan… the writing is pungently vivid, in a well-paced production by Ian Talbot, this is a beguiling wander through the back alleys of Britain’s light-entertainment past” The Times

★★★★★ “A show of throbbing theatricality and powerful prose, written by one of Duncan’s daughters continuing in the dramatic tradition started by her grandparents. Duncan has the anger and pathos of a straight actor that can bring tears to the eyes” Broadway Baby

★★★★★ “A moving and mesmerising performance by Peter Duncan that demands our attention and deserves to be seen” ReviewsHub 

THE DAME is at the Ustinov Studio on Friday 24 January at 8pm. Tickets are on sale now from the Box Office on 01225 448844 or online at