The Duck


“The Duck” reveals the authentic voice of an autistic woman as she explores what her diagnosis means to her. Rhi Lloyd-Williams (Writer) uses her own autism to create patterns in her writing; making this a beautiful, as well as meaningful, piece of theatre.

Using the idea of being diagnosed a ‘Duck’ instead of that ‘A-Word’ that people so often misunderstand, this is a one-woman play built around story-telling and memories, and designed to make connections between different ways of thinking.

Rhi says, “It can be really difficult to describe autism from the outside; you end up just listing a set of behaviours, which doesn’t really explain anything. There’s nothing like the theatre for communicating an idea and making connections. The usual representation of autism is not someone like me. They’re usually children and male. It’s so important that we see autistic women out there too. That representation is vital. We don’t tend to fit the stereotypes quite as neatly, and often spend a lot of time masking and hiding who we really are. This play is about being free to take off that mask and be ourselves. Forget Autism Awareness, this is real Autism Understanding.”

Starring the talented Lucy Theobald (Feste in Barbican Theatre’s #BardInTheYard Twelfth Night 2017) as The Duck, and Directed by Jo Loyn (Jon Nash’s Why Would You? Barbican Theatre’s Macbeth 2018), we are assured that no ducks were harmed in the production of this Play.

Read an article written by The Duck’s writer Rhi Lloyd-Williams: ‘Playing At Autism’


What is a Relaxed/Considerate Performance?

This performance is for all audiences, but Relaxed/Considerate Performances are designed with extra consideration for for anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed performance environment – including those with an autism spectrum condition or learning disability.

  • There will be no music or other sounds played during the performance
  • There will be no strobe lighting
  • Dress code is as formal or informal as you would like – wear what you feel comfortable in!
  • Try to be as considerate of other people’s different sensory needs as you would like them to be of yours.
  • If you need to leave during the performance then you are free to do so. It’s fine to come back again too. You are not trapped in here, and you are not getting in the way of the performance if you need some space

Further information can be found on Autact Theatre’s website. Please feel free to get in touch or speak to a member of staff on the day if there is anything else you’d like to know – there are no stupid questions! Alternative you can email or tweet @autacttheatre and the company will reply to you ASAP.


Pick Of the Fringe Award Winner

Bedford Festival Fringe 2019

“Lucy’s energetic acting and Rhi’s masterful writing combine wonderfully so whether you yourself have autism, you have family members with autism or you know nothing about it, this is well worth a watch for a fun and informative experience.”


"A fast-paced, frenetic, funny, intelligent, occasionally sad, incredibly engaging and informative performance. This is the sort of autistic performance that I want to see, and that I want non-autistics to see.”

Paula Sanchez

"Brilliant one woman performance... As someone who speaks a lot about #autism #TheDuck really did put a different point of view across brilliantly. As a non-duck myself, it opened my eyes - well done Lucy - a superb performanc"

Luke Pollard MP


Tickets are currently only available for collection from 1 hour before performances begin. They are not currently available for collection from the Box Office at any other times and postage is no longer available. Barbican Theatre recommends e-tickets which can be presented at the theatre on the date of your performance using a smart mobile device (or if you prefer can be printed out) E-tickets are more covid safe and are also much greener due to not being needed to be printed or posted.

Tickets for this event are no longer available.