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Unicorn Theatre - Autumn 2013 and beyond


Theatre preview

THE UNICORN Theatre’s new season features an international programme from the UK, US, Spain, France, Holland and Belgium. Building on critical success as the UK’s leading professional theatre for young audiences, the season includes:

Othello the Remix by William Shakespeare and The Q Brothers (who also direct) – September 12 to September 29.

Following sell-out success as part of Shakespeare’s Globe’s Globe to Globe Festival, Othello: the Remix returns to the UK with its fresh urban take on Shakespeare’s tragedy.

Lyrically re-written over original beats, Othello: the Remix has all the intensity of Shakespeare’s love and hate story. With fired-up hip-hop proving that Shakespeare himself was the original master of rhythm and rhyme, this is an adaptation not to be missed, an ‘exuberant pleasure’ for teenagers and adults.

Suitable for ages 13+.

Read more about Othello: The Remix

Dora, based on Dora the Storer by Helen East and directed by Purni Morell – September 13 to November 17.

Dora is a storer. You could even call her a hoarder. Birdcages and books, bicycles and balls, boxes and biscuit tins. Dora finds and keeps everything. But, trapped in her bed by the rising pile of clutter, will Dora face the fact that something has to go?

Letting go of things can be hard but sometimes giving something away can make you even happier. Dora’s story celebrates the pleasure in giving and receiving, and will charm children and adults alike

Suitable for ages 4+.

Sensacional – September 21, 22, 28 and 29; October 13, 15 and 16; and November 12, 13 and 14.

Following a sell-out run in February 2013, Sensacional is back to charm the very youngest audience members. Bursting with colour and joy, this interactive and immersive digital experience will captivate both children and parents alike.

Suitable for ages 18months to 4 years.

Luna, based on an original story by Miranda Thain; devised and directed by Sarah Argent – October 5 to November 3.

Luna is bored up in the sky by herself with nobody to play with. Although she is surrounded by stars, they never quite understand her – it’s certainly lonely being the only moon.

One night, as she’s racing through space, she spots a young boy hiding from shadows that move like monsters on his bedroom walls. Luna decides to slide down from the sky to make friends with him. Together they go on an adventure of light and dark to help him overcome his fear of the night.

An enchanting theatrical experience about friendship, the moon and being brave in the dark.

Suitable for ages 2+.

Henry The Fifth by Ignace Cornelissen, based on Shakespear’s Henry V, directed by Ellen McDougall and translated by Purni Morell – October 8 to November 16.

What’s the difference between a king and any other man? Kings need crowns and castles to prove their power, and so does Henry the Fifth. So when he starts to run out of money, all he can think about is that his neighbour’s castle is bigger than his…

A long and terrible war ensues with huge costs on both sides – but that’s royalty for you: always squabbling over one thing or another.

Belgian writer and theatremaker Ignace Cornelissen’s brilliantly playful re-interpretation of Shakespeare’s Henry the Fifth follows his A Winter’s Tale, which enjoyed great success at the Unicorn last year. This classic story re-imagined asks young audiences to think twice about the next time they get into an argument and make them question what they’re fighting for.

The cast includes Hannah Boyde (War Horse) Rhys Rusbatch (Merlin), Abdul Salis (Doctor Who) and Shane Zaza (13, National Theatre).

The production is designed by James Button, with sound by Emma Laxton and lighting by David Kidd.

Henry the Fifth is part of the Unicorn’s season of work which looks at new ways of unlocking established works for a younger audience. Other work includes Chaucer’s The Pardoner’s Tale and Chris Thorpe’s Hannah based on Marlowe’s Dr Faustus.

Suitable for ages 8+ and performed in modern English.

Nosferatu, a Halloween treat for the bravest – October 31 to November 2.

A young lawyer named Hutter travels from his small town to the Carpathian mountains to close a sale for a mysterious Count. Despite the nasty surprises and bad omens he encounters on the way, he continues his journey to the castle where he is welcomed by Count Orlock – someone who looks a bit like a bat but also a bit like a garlic clove…

Humour, horror and unconventional objects make this inventive French adaptation of the classic supernatural story the perfect Halloween treat.

Suitable for ages 8+.

Cape by Inua Ellams – November 19 to November 23.

It’s a simple idea, really.
1) Wear a uniform
2) Protect who you love, what you care about
3) Let nothing get in your way

Someone mugged Bruce’s mum and he is not having it. The shock is still visible in her trembling fingers, rippling out across the calm waters of their lives. He grabs his hoodie, his uniform, his cape and goes out to find the culprit.

Smithy wants everyone to stay inside, Uhuru wants everyone out. Tanya thinks it’s boyish fun and games until, very suddenly, it isn’t.

Cape is a new work from the groundbreaking Synergy Theatre Project, working with prisoners, ex-prisoners and young people at risk of offending.

Suitable for ages 14+.

Cinderella: A Fairytale, a dazzlingly original take on one of the best-loved fairytales of all time, directed by Sally Cookson – November 26 to January 5, 2014.

When Ella’s mother dies, she is brought up by her devoted and loving father who teaches her the names and calls of the woodland birds that surround her home. But when her father marries again, Ella’s peaceful life is turned upside down by a host of new and unpleasant relations. It appears her only allies are the feathered friends who roost in the trees – but they are no ordinary birds…

The cast includes Mark Kane, Sarah Kameela Impey, Philippe Spall, Jessica Murrain, Martins Imhangbe and TJ Holmes.

Cinderella: A Fairytale is designed by Katie Sykes, with puppetry by Chris Pirie, lighting by Matt Graham, choreography by Joel Daniel and music directed and composed by Benji Bower.

Nominated for an Olivier Award in 2013, Cinderella: A Fairytale’s quirky visual style, crystal-clear storytelling and original live music bring this classic tale of reversed fortunes imaginatively to life.

Suitable for ages 6+.

Children can join the Unicorn this Christmas for a festive sleepover: watch Cinderella: A Fairytale, meet the actors and take part in a whole host of activities onstage before bunking down on the Weston stage for the night! Cost: £50 (dinner and breakfast included).

’Twas the Night Before Christmas… by Clement Clarke Moore, directed by Douglas Rintoul – December 3 to January 5, 2014.

Originally written for his two daughters in 1823, Clement Clarke Moore’s much-loved story is still read to millions of children around the world today. The Unicorn’s beautifully delicate adaptation will inspire audience members young and old to leave a few extra mince pies for St Nick this Christmas Eve.

Suitable for under 5s.

Cuckoo, a new Unicorn play about young people for an adult audience by Suhayla El Bushra, directed by Nathan Curry – January 14 to January 25.

Erica’s bored. She used to go on research trips to the Congo, now all she has is Woman’s Hour, Waitrose and wearisome dinner parties. Then one morning she discovers her daughter’s new and only friend sitting in the kitchen and life gets interesting.

Fuelled by booze, this wild child from the estate soon seduces both mother and daughter into a disillusioned good life. But good things can’t last forever and sooner or later, someone’s going to get hurt…

The Pardoner’s Tale, by Lewis Gibson, based on The Pardoner’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer – January 16 to January 31.

A new look at Chaucer from the heart of Southwark, at the Tabard Inn, where stories are currency and any troubles are left at the bottom of a glass…

The Pardoner wants to tell the tale of three men who once set out on a journey to kill Death and get rich quick. He wants to show you how their quest to revenge the death of a mutual friend turned into a treacherous journey into the dark world of greed, murder and mayhem. He wants you to know that you should always watch your back, because you never know where your enemies may hide.

Based on Chaucer’s 700 year old story, The Pardoner’s Tale is the latest adaptation by Tangere Arts, the company behind last year’s A Thousand Slimy Things.

In this contemporary production, Gary Lagden plays the Pardoner; a quick-witted, silver tongued trickster, part magician, part orator and part salesman. He’ll sell you a pardon to get out of your homework, he’ll convince you that he has the world at his fingertips, and that you can too, if you name the right price…

Lagden will be joined on stage by two musicians, Hannah Marshall and Christopher Preece, who will underscore the story with live music, songs and foley techniques that use everyday objects to create sound effects.

Suitable for ages 7+.

For more information or to book, call the box office on 020 7645 0560 or visit