Duck Bunny Theatre

Ed Sheeran Tastes Like Chicken

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I am writing and developing this play to champion the cause of the dolphins, which comments on the fishing and mining industries, bureaucratic inaction and corporate greed, delivered in a way which makes the urgent problem understandable. Researchers now estimate the remaining total population of Maui's dolphins has sunk to an all-time low around 55 individuals, and just 10 to 12 adult female Maui's dolphins.

Set in a world where the last group of miniature Ed Sheerans live peacefully in the wild, they are threatened by the over zealous hunting practices of a global corporation Barracuda Industries. The population of mini-Ed's only has 55 remaining individuals left and faces increased hunting in their habitat. The play will follow a small band of unlikely heroes who stand up against the actions and inactions which endanger the miniature Ed population.

Ed Sheeran Tastes Like Chicken uses elements of the absurd to expose the true absurdity of the real situation facing the Maui's dolphins.

The first phase of this project is the researching, script writing and creative development. Your help will fund the cost of photocopying scripts and venue hire for the creative development, travel costs to meet and interview leading scientists working in the field of dolphin conservation and research, and promotional materials to help propel this work to the next stage of development with a director and actors in time for a showing at the Nelson Fringe Festival.

It is my hope that audiences will come away with a greater understanding of the urgency of the situation, and perhaps a sense of what they can do to influence change. Join me in bringing this important message to life through the art of theatre.

Thank you for your support.

Alister Emerson,
Playwright and Artistic Director.
Duck Bunny Theatre.


  • Woohoo! We made it.


    Woohoo! We did it with 4 hours to spare. Thanks to everyone who donated to Ed Sheeran Tastes Like Chicken. It is now full steam ahead to the next stage.

    Come across to to follow our progress. Next stop the Nelson Fringe Festival.

    Woohoo! We made it.
  • 55 hours to go!


    There are 55 hours to go and we are now at 89% funded! Thank you so much to all of the incredible donors so far. This project continues to gain momentum as we work on knocking the first draft into shape. A big hank you also to supporters from Australia.

    This weekend, 13/14 February, marks the one year anniversary of NZ's largest whale stranding at Golden Bay, an event which was a major catalyst to writing this play.

    55 hours to go!
  • Updates from the past few weeks.


    With 5 days to go it is wonderful to be 43% funded. I am grateful to those who have donated to the project thus far and to the Nelson Mail for running an article to help boost this campaign.

    The project has benefitted from a first table reading and re-drafts with talented people who continue to help shape this play. The script will be featuring at the Nelson Fringe Festival and an early draft is currently being read by the literary advisor at the Court Theatre.

    Please help us realise the full potential of this project as we head towards the final days of this campaign. We will make a difference for these Maui's Dolphins.

    Updates from the past few weeks.
  • Woohoo! We have just passed 30% of the target.


    It is exciting to see that we have just reached a milestone of passing 30%. Thank you to all of the supporters so far and here are a few thoughts I want to share on my trip back from Akaroa.

  • Photos from Akaroa Interview Trip


    This is what it's all about - these amazing creatures. Look carefully in the photo, one of the dolphins is blowing bubbles.

    I am grateful to Dr Liz Slooten and Dr Steve Dawson for allowing me to go out onto the the harbour with them and for their fantastic hospitality while I was in Akaroa. Sensational barbeque.

    Photos from Akaroa Interview Trip
  • The natural habitat of the miniature Ed Sheeran


    Learn about the natural habitat of the miniature Ed Sheeran in this informative documentary clip.

  • Roadtrip to Akaroa


    Check out video blog #1 from my roadtrip down to Akaroa to meet with Otago University Conservation Biologists Dr Liz Slooten and Dr Steve Dawson. Plus there is a special treat with an impromptu script reading of a snippet from the script.

  • Sneak Peek


    It is awesome to be off the mark with this crowdfunding target. Thank you to all of you who have supported the project in various ways already. Here is a sneak peek at some of the characters in this play.

    H (Hannah Wild): Owner of the Gingernut Cafe Ed Watching Tours. Passionate individual with a heart of gold and a fierce temper. Doesn't tolerate fools. As a roller derby skater she goes by the name of Hannibal Lecter.

    Piko: Loyal and long suffering friend of H's. He is convinced that using a David Attenborough voice on the Ed Watching tours makes them more authentic for the tourists. Tries to keep the peace between H and pretty much anyone else she meets.

    Maya: Trainee vet-nurse. Rival roller derby team to H, and hates H with a passion but is forced into H's orbit by the events of the story.

    Duncan Duncan and C-Lam Duncan: Hard working DoC officers, doing their best to stamp out environmental crime. They live for the khaki uniform.

    Dr Susan Cooper: Researcher who has dedicated her life to studying Miniature Eds in the wild.

    Miniature Ed Sheerans: Trying to survive the hunting practices of Barracuda Industries.

    Didi Mo: A corporate executive and nasty bit of work who always has a spin on the dubious practices of Barracuda Industries Pannda Processing Plant.

    Ermine Mustella and Wolfgang Vulgaris: Didi Mo's thugs.

    Dr Frundin-Meyer: Dubious scientist for Barracuda Industries.

    Annie: A university student working for Barracuda Industries for the summer.

    Mayor Snoot: The Mayor of Greenstone, more famous as an ex-hand model than for the quality of decisions as Mayor.

    Earnest Wembley: Mayor Snoot's assistant, but is a disgruntled employee who was beaten in a hand modeling competition by Snoot and has a certain disdain for the Mayor.