London’s Unicorn Theatre, a flagship for productions aimed at young people, has announced its biggest season yet with 14 new productions and new collaborations with leading artists.
Artistic director Purni Morell said the season celebrated new writing, new talent and new interpretations.
Season highlights includes – the life of World War One music hall star Vesta Tilley is brought to life in Joy Wilkinson’sBritain’s Best Recruiting Sergeant; rising star Gbolahan Obisesan directs his new play How Nigeria Became: A Story, and A Spear That Didn’t Work; and the return of two of the theatre’s biggest hits Something Very Far Away and The Velveteen Rabbit.
Morell said: “One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is what we, as adults, expect from the theatre we take our children to.
“For example, how can we be sure that, when we take them to see a play, we’re not encouraging them to see the world the way we want them to see it.
“Instead we should allow them the space and freedom to explore the world on their own terms.
“This preoccupation is what underpins the whole of our next season at the Unicorn.
“I’m extremely excited to find out, over the course of the year, how our audiences, young and old, will respond to the very different shows on offer.”
Among other productions on offer are Brecht’s classic The Caucasian Chalk Circle; Evan Placey’s Girls like That; and Gary Lagden returns in Lewis Gibson’s ghostly tale The Chair; New work for under fives with Seesaw and Scrunch.
*When I Think About The Universe I Laugh For No Reason. The Unicorn Young Company produce a devised piece of theatre about what makes us who we are. Directed by Ellen Edwin-Scott and Emma Higham Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 August 2014 For ages 11+
*Seesaw By Stewart Melton. Seesaw explores the push and pull of friendship, and the ups and downs of being very young. Directed by Sarah Argent Saturday 6 September to Sunday 2 November. For ages 2+
*Tales From The MP3 Young people from the award-winning 20 Stories High tell each other’s true stories straight from their MP3 players.
As they hear the words in their headphones, the performers deliver line for line to the audience what they are hearing – live.
Created by Julia Samuels. Thursday 11 – Saturday 13 September. For ages 13+
*The Secret Life Of Suitcases. By Lewis Hetherington and Ailie Cohen. Thursday 18 September to Sunday 12 October 2014 Join Larry as his world gets turned upside down by a fantastical flying suitcase in a new collaboration nominated for a Critics’ Award for Theatre in Scotland. For ages 4+
*Something Very Far Away. Written, Directed and Original Score by Mark Arends. Puppets, Design and Animation by Matthew Robins Saturday 20 to Sunday 28 September.
Something Very Far Away is a moving tale of love, loss, space and time that uses puppetry, music, sound and live animation to create a unique and beautiful performance that will enchant children and adults alike. For ages 8+
*How Nigeria Became: A Story, And A Spear That Didn’t Work Thursday 9 October to Sunday 9 November.
This colourful and quick-witted production offers a creative insight into Nigeria’s beginnings in 1914 and commemorates the centenary of Nigeria as part of Black History Month at the Unicorn. For ages 8+
*Nosferatu Thursday 30 October to Sunday 2 November. Unconventional French theatre-makers, Bob Théâtre, return to the Unicorn for another Halloween full of humour, horror and an inventive use of light bulbs. Are you brave enough to meet our spooky storytellers? For ages 8+ (There will be a special adult-only performance on Halloween at 10pm).
*Girls Like That Thursday 6 to Saturday 22 November 2014 Girls Like That is an urgent and explosive play that explores gender equality and the pressures on today’s digital generation. For ages 13+