22 Dec 2017

Unicorn Young Company Hit Berlin

Back in November, the Unicorn Young Company traveled to Berlin to perform a devised show at the Judendtheaterwerkstatt Spandau festival. UYC Member Cecilia Morgan wrote a blog post about the momentous trip, which you can read below.

The Unicorn Young Company are a multitalented bunch whom I feel blessed to have been involved with for so many years. Punctuality, however, is not always a strength of ours, as it isn’t for a lot of teenagers, which is why it felt like something of a miracle when we all arrived at the Heathrow airport Cafe Nero left of terminal 5 at 2pm, as agreed and as challenged: “but what if I get there at 3pm though??” ! But no, we were ALL there, at 2pm, with luggage which more or less matched the requirements of our flight; a miracle. 

After half a day of travelling from London to Berlin and gasping at the blatant differences between the two cities, we were welcomed to a rather homely and hospitable theatre in an area called Spandau. We were welcomed with a warmth unfamiliar to many of us by some very energetic members of two different young companies, both based in Berlin.   

One of the theatre companies was made up predominantly of teenagers and young adults with additional needs; the work they presented to us in the sharing was both upbeat and intriguing. In turn, we presented what we’d been working on. Our show ‘Big Love’ which we performed earlier in the year at the Unicorn felt ripe and ready for revival up until a few weeks before Berlin, when we began working on something new. So we presented some scenes we’d devised about education; weaving them together felt quite last-minute but the audience seemed impressed. The workshops which we later took part in allowed for members of the respective young companies to mingle with one another. There were various taster sessions to choose from with focuses on both music and theatre, where we got a vague idea of each others ways of working. A combination of young people with and without additional needs, all collaborating creatively made for a really lighthearted and open atmosphere, both in the workshops and at the dinner table.  

Dinner. We all dined together each evening at the theatre where we were based during the day; it was really lovely. The food was good because it wasn’t trying to be too fancy. It was simple and delicious, rather than the school-dinner-style low-budget versions of complicated dishes which we come to expect. So we found ourselves eating delicious pasta and soup whilst being praised by the Berlin teenagers for being “from London; so cool!” We felt similar, I’m sure, but apparently London teenagers are a bit “too cool” to be that up front about our awe…  

I wasn’t sure what to expect of our time at the theatre in Spandau but I definitely didn’t expect to be singing ‘Diamonds’ by Rihanna at the end of our last night. We had prepared it during the music workshop and reluctantly we performed it in front of everyone; reluctantly at first but it was actually really fun.   In the morning of the day we were due to leave Berlin, we had a lovely Turkish breakfast and split off to either go sightseeing or to Mauerpark flea market (my favourite place in Berlin). Satisfied and a little exhausted, we left Berlin, many of us hoping to return soon.

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