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In a Pickle - Unicorn Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

OILY Cart is presenting In a Pickle, a special adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale for two to five year olds, at the Unicorn Theatre, where it runs from December 6, 2012 to January 6, 2013.

This co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company was first performed as part of the World Shakespeare Festival 2012. The title is a quote from The Tempest.

In a Pickle is described as an entrancing tale combining smells, textures, enchanting live music and beautiful costumes. For the very first time, toddlers are catapulted into the colourful world of Shakespeare’s imagination and the music of his language.

The adventure begins in the woolly pastures of the shepherdess and her flock of little sheep. She is having a party to celebrate the sheep shearing. When she discovers a lost baby, the audience is called on to help solve the clues about where the baby comes from. Together they travel over the salty sea to the sad court where a happy ending is found.

The youngest audiences experienced In a Pickle in June 2012 as part of the World Shakespeare Festival. A dreamscape set allowed young children to journey through the show, along the way enjoying special features such as sniffable herbs, strokeable grassy benches and bubbles. For this revival run of the show, Oily Cart returns to the Unicorn Theatre before embarking on a nationwide tour to Warwick Arts Centre, The Gulbenkian and Clwyd Theatr Cymru.

RSC Artistic Director Michael Boyd said: “Our Schools Stand Up For Shakespeare campaign has successfully championed the introduction of primary school children to Shakespeare since 2008. This collaboration with the magical Oily Cart is the perfect way to share our house playwright with an even younger audience.”

And Tim Webb, Artistic Director of Oily Cart, said: “This is not another of those shows you look at and listen to. It’s one you can touch, smell and taste. It’s a pitch perfect introduction to Shakespeare for the very young.”

This year (2012) has been an exciting year for Oily Cart, the leading creators of theatre for the very young. A book celebrating 30 years of the company was published by Trentham Books. Entitled All Sorts of Theatre for All Sorts of Kids, it looks at Oily Cart’s extraordinary history through the experience of the founders, actors, reviewers and audience.

Oily Cart’s previous show Ring A Ding Ding also receives its US premiere at New York’s Victory Theatre this Autumn.

Written and directed by Tim Webb and composed by Max Reinhardt and Finn Peters, In a Pickle is designed by Claire de Loon and has musical direction by Max Reinhardt.

Tickets: £16/£10 – available from the box office on 020 7645 0560 or online at

Times: Vary.

Also at the Unicorn Theatre: The Prince and The Pauper.