Duffy and the Bullies

Introducing Duffy and the Bullies!

Every year Duffy Theatre visits hundreds of Kiwi schools, sharing the messages It’s Cool to Read and Cool to Achieve while building a keen following for the show’s hero, Duffy. Now one of our plays comes to the world in a graphic novel, the trendy reading format for children and teenagers worldwide.

Longtime Duffy Theatre Director Jeff Szusterman reworked Lauren Jackson’s 2018 show Duffy and the Cloak Bay Bully into a story told in speech bubbles with graphics created by legendary cartoonist Ant Sang.

There’s bullying at school, where the jealous and troubled Ashlee is picking on the lonely, luckless 11-year-old Marama. Into the fray steps Duffy, the cool Māori kid who’s captain of the school rugby team, as well as a keen reader.

By sharing wisdom from his book of the moment, The Hallowe’en Hassler (which features in Ant’s designs) — and encouraging Marama’s talents on the rugby field — Duffy helps to create an unlikely friendship between Marama and Ashlee.

Duffy and the Bullies hits the bookshelves on August 6th, 2024. Duffy kids can order their own copy in Book Offer 3. 



You can view and purchase the book at good bookstores nationwide or on the publisher’s website, Oratia Books. Click the logo below to be taken to their site.

The Authors

Jeff Szusterman


Ant Sang


Lauren Jackson


Duffy and the Bullies is proudly brought to you by Duffy Books in Homes and Oratia Books. Thanks to the following oragnisations for their support when making this awesome project.

About the Show - Duffy and the Cloak Bay Bully

This show was written by Lauren Jackson and directed by Jeff Szusterman. John Parker designed the sets and Vicki Slow designed the costumes. The first step in creating this story took place in August 2017 when our team, Lauren, Jeff and production manager David Rumney spent the day with students at Parakai School. Students shared stories around how bullying was impacting their everyday lives along with other anxieties. They also shared their love of books many of them particularly loved horror books! That sparked the story for Lauren, who wrote the show. Two teams of actors brought the show to life for 470 schools and over 80,000 Duffy kids back in 2018. They are:

Team Blue

Josiah Robertson - Duffy
Janaye Henry - Melanie (Marama) and Wyatt (Bonnie the Skeleton)
Shauntelle Ono - Ashlee and Griselda (Paul T. Geist)

Team Red

Forest Denize - Duffy
Frankie Browne - Melanie (Marama) and Wyatt (Bonnie the Skeleton)
Molly Weaver - Ashlee and Griselda (Paul T. Geist)