Find out the latest news from behind the scenes at the Unicorn!
In preparation for our upcoming Summer workshops we spoke to Tanya Dirrane, an Irish Dancing World Champion to find out more about her two-day Irish Dancing and Ceilidh Fun workshop taking place next week.
Fun, Energetic, Fulfilling.
What is the difference between Irish dancing and Ceilidh dance?
Irish dancing is traditionally a dance form whereby you dance solo keeping your upper body still and requires full use of the legs. You stand upright with your arms placed down by your sides with your hands held in a fist position.
Ceilidh dancing is a form of social dance; it is performed in groups and allows the use of arms. It was initially formed in Ireland as a form of entertainment before the days of television, people used to meet on the crossroads and perform various Ceilidh dances. It was a way of the community meeting up and was a very popular social event.
Recently, Irish dancing has evolved due to Irish Dance shows such as Riverdance and Lord of the Dance meaning that arm movements have now been introduced allowing more freedom in the choreography.
What main skill will the children learn in this workshop?
I think the main skill children will learn in this workshop is making social connections, although children learn a lot of skills in Irish Dancing such as: rhythm; timing; musicality; co- ordination; balance; core strength; increased stamina; flexibility; muscle strength and overall fitness (I could go on…).
Do you need to have experience for this workshop?
You do not need any experience to attend this workshop, which is the beauty of Ceilidh dancing! It requires no former experience and caters for all abilities.
How long have you been dancing and teaching for?
I was initially a ballet dancer from the age of three and then joined an Irish dancing class at the age of 12 mainly because I was inspired by the type of music. I also thought it looked like a fun skill to learn after watching my friend perform. I became hooked instantly and by the time I was 14 I had qualified for my first World Championships. I have been teaching for 25 years now having set up my first class in 1993 in East Dulwich, South East London.
What is your favourite thing about Irish dancing?
My favourite thing about Irish dancing is it makes me very happy. We release endorphins when we exercise but I firmly believe you release additional endorphins when you Irish Dance due to the exhilarating and energetic nature of the art form.
Don’t miss out on learning something new this Summer, book your place today:
When: Thu 16 - Fri 17 Aug (a two-day workshop)
Where: Unicorn Theatre
Who for: Children aged 6 – 11 who are up for a challenge, making friends and having fun!
More info and book now >
Our upcoming production of The End of Eddy has been cast.
Stewart Laing directs Alex Austin and Kwaku Mills in The End of Eddy, Pamela Carter’s powerful new work, based on Édouard Louis’s best-selling book, in this co-production between the Unicorn Theatre and Untitled Projects.
The End of Eddy will open as part of the Edinburgh International Festival prior to a run in London at the Unicorn. It will also tour the UK and Ireland with dates to be announced shortly.
Alex Austin Performer
Alex's credits include, for the Unicorn Henry V, The Nutcracker, How to Think the Unthinkable, The Man with the Incredibly Smelly Foot. Other credits include most recently A New And Better You ( The Yard), Gundog, Grimly Handsome, Primetime 2017, Yen, Pigeons (Royal Court), Thebes Land (Arcola); Fury (Soho); Barbarians (Young Vic) and The Skriker (Royal Exchange, Manchester). Television includes The Interceptor, Sherlock, New Tricks, Misfits and Holby City. Film includes A Moving Image, The Hooligan Factory and The World’s End.
Kwaku Mills Performer
Kwaku has recently graduated from the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts. Credits whilst training include; Raleigh in Journey’s End, Ward in Women Beware Women, Benjamin in Easter and Colin Powell in Stuff Happens. He will be making his professional debut in The End of Eddy.
Stewart Laing Director
Stewart is a Scottish theatre director. He is Associate Director with National Theatre of Scotland and is Artistic Director of his own company, Untitled Projects, which he formed in 1998. Directing credits with Untitled Projects include J.G. Ballard Project, blind_sight, Slope, An Argument About Sex, The Salon Project, Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner and Slope Redux. Other credits include The Maids for Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Ten Plagues for Traverse Theatre, Titus Andronicus for Dundee Rep, The Sewing Group for Royal Court, and most recently, Creditors for Lyceum in Edinburgh. Stewart is currently directing David Sawer’s new opera The Skating Rink for Garsington Opera. Stewart originally trained as a theatre designer at Central School of Art and Design in London and has worked extensively as a theatre designer throughout the UK and internationally. He has designed for the West End and Broadway, winning a Tony Award in 1997 for his work on the musical Titanic. Recent design credits include work for The Old Vic in London, The Park Avenue Armory in New York and The Royal Opera, Covent Garden.
Pamela Carter Writer
Pamela is a playwright and dramaturg. Her plays include Lines ( The Yard Theatre, London); Fast Ganz Nah/Almost Near ( Theater Dresden, Germany); Skåne (Hamptead Theatre; winner of the New Writing Commission at the Berliner Festspiele Stückemarkt in 2012); What We Know ( Traverse Theatre); Wildlife (Magnetic North Theatre Co); The Last of Us (Play, Pie & a Pint). Her plays for Untitled Projects include Slope (2006 and 2014); Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner, 2013; and An Argument About Sex (After Marivaux) in 2009. As dramaturg and writer with Vanishing Point Theatre, she has made the award-winning Interiors (touring internationally since 2009), Saturday Night, and Tomorrow.
Age guide: 16+ (contains explicit sexual references and frequent use of strong language) Duration: Approx 1 hr 30 mins
We are looking for young people to take part in a photoshoot this Saturday 10 March between 10am – 2pm at the Unicorn Theatre (147 Tooley St, SE1 2HZ).
You may need to bring your own clothes for the shoot and have some spare clothes with you (but you won’t need to buy anything – where needed we will purchase items of clothing and props) – once selected for the shoot we will be able to give you more information about what is needed.
You will not be needed for the full 4 hours and a schedule will be sent out with timings by Friday 9 March, at the latest.
Every person who takes part will be entitled to a free family ticket (up to 4 tickets) to a show of their choice over the next 12 months. There will be some light snacks and drinks at the shoot and Helen, the Unicorn’s Director of Marketing, will be managing the shoot.
We are looking for the following people:
Where clothing is mentioned and is specific, we will provide an appropriate outfit or have a chat about what you already own that could work.
Teenagers / young adults
- Young woman (any ethnicity) aged around 17 - 25 years – will have a prop axe and possibly be wearing moss green velvet dress
- Young afro-Caribbean woman aged around 17 – 25 years – will be wearing a red cloak and dark clothes
- Young man (any ethnicity) aged 16 – 22 years – will have prop sword and be wearing ordinary jeans, big crown logo on t-shirt or cap
- Young woman (any ethnicity) with very long dark hair aged around 17 – 25 – will be wearing a tunic / simple, one or two colour dress or outfit
- South American / Asian young girl around 9 years - will be wearing a hooded coat and sunglasses
- Afro-Caribbean boy or girl around 8 – 12 - will be wearing jumper and trousers, maybe with a Christmas twist
- Young girl (any ethnicity) around 8 – 12 – will be wearing t-shirt / jumper and trousers / skirt and maybe be sat on a stool and be asked to look very bored
The Unicorn Theatre is delighted to announce the appointment
of Justin Audibert as the company’s new Artistic Director. Justin will take up
the position in summer ’18, taking over from Purni Morell who steps down as
Artistic Director this spring after nearly seven years in the role.
Justin’s most recent directing credits include The Box of Delights for Wilton’s Music Hall in Christmas 2017, and for the Unicorn Theatre Chris Thorpe’s searing adaptation of Beowulf and Holger Schober’s My Mother, Medea. In February Justin will open The Winter’s Tale in his new version for young audiences at the National Theatre, and August ’18 sees him directing Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s Snow in Midsummer for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which he originally premiered at the RSC in 2017. Justin’s programme for the Unicorn’s stages will kick off in May 2019.
His other directing credits include Macbeth (National Theatre, UK Tour), How Not To Live in Suburbia (Soho Theatre), The Man With the Hammer (Theatre Royal Plymouth, The Drum), Flare Path (UK Tour), Hamlet (The Watermill), Beached (Soho Theatre), Wingman (Soho Theatre), Unscorched (Finborough Theatre), A Season in the Congo: Parallel Production (Young Vic), Wrong ‘Un (Red Ladder), The Coventry Mystery Play (co-directed with Greg Doran, RSC), Future Regrets (Live Theatre Newcastle) and Company Along the Mile (West Yorkshire Playhouse).
Alongside his wide ranging directing work, Justin wrote and presented the BAFTA nominated BBC Live Lessons on Shakespeare for younger audiences and he has taught and directed widely at universities and drama schools in the UK, the US, China and Brazil.
John Langley, Chair of the Unicorn Board said, “Justin is well known to the Unicorn through his recent productions of Beowulf and My Mother, Medea. It is difficult to think of two classic works of literature that in recent years have spoken so vibrantly and without condescension to audiences of young people. As Chair of the Unicorn, I am thrilled to welcome him to the team; as a theatregoer, I am intensely curious to see the work his directorship will bring us. Above all, I am confident that Justin’s range of experience and radical vision will take all of us who love and value the Unicorn to exciting new places in the years to come.”
Justin Audibert was an undergraduate at the University of Sheffield before going on to receive his MFA in Theatre Directing at Birkbeck, University of London, in 2008. Following early roles on placement at West Yorkshire Playhouse and Assistant Director at the RSC, he has directed numerous productions. In 2012 Justin was the recipient of the Leverhulme Award for Emerging Directors from the National Theatre Studio. He directed The Tempest in London and New York as part of the cultural Olympiad in 2012, and assisted Greg Doran on the opening programme for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 2010. Other notable credits include the European premiere of Gruesome Playground Injuries by US playwright Rajiv Joseph in 2013 at the Gate Theatre, and The Jew of Malta for the RSC in 2015 starring Jasper Britton.
We are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of free tickets to our dress rehearsal of Wild Life FM on Thu 11 Jan, starting at 6pm.
Wild Life FM is for ages 14 and over, it's part-gig, part-theatre and is created by a cast of nine musicians, aged 16 - 21, together with experimental performance artist Kim Noble and Belgian theatre director, Pol Heyvaert from the exceptional CAMPO arts centre in Ghent. The show is for ages 14+ and may contain strong language and sexual references. To find out more, visit the show webpage.
To book your free place, email email@example.com with the subject-line 'Wild Life Exclusive Dress Rehearsal'. Let us know your full name, email address, phone number, whether you would like 1 or 2 tickets (and let us know if you'd like to join our e-newsletter).
We ask that you definitely are able to attend and that if things change and you can no longer attend that you let us know at least 48 hours in advance so that we can offer your place to someone else.
2017 is almost finished and what a brilliant start to our 70th
Anniversary season it’s been.
It’s a place where memories are made: “I'm an actress I worked at the unicorn when it was based next to Leicester Square as a child and saw many shows there so it's nostalgic for me.” Ania Sowinski
A place where careers start: “I went to the Unicorn as a child on a school trip about 40 years ago. I loved it and it helped sow the seed of a love of drama and theatre that has endured. I am now a drama teacher, writer and theatre director.” Rokshana Khan
A place where families come together: “…for us it's like a little nest that brings together all members of family and friends, ready to follow the magic and the poetry of each show! We love it! Going to Unicorn Theatre it's always a beautiful adventure! Francesca, Parent
Tell us what it is for you by taking a moment to complete this short survey #LOVEUNICORN http://bit.ly/2yGNf3J
We're looking for toddlers aged 18 months - 3 years to take part in a photoshoot during a performance of our current hit show Sensacional.
Think you can help? All details are below:
Where: Unicorn Theatre
Sensacional is an interactive sound and light show where the toddlers are the participants. You will receive a free ticket to the show (one child and up to two adults) and we'll have complimentary refreshments for a post-show treat. The photographer will be present throughout the performance, and by taking part you will be giving us permission to use the images for marketing purposes. Watch the trailer below to get a feel for the show or find out more about the show here > /Sensacional-2017
If you would like to take part, please send us your contact details and a recent toddler photo to firstname.lastname@example.org by Mon 14 Aug. We are looking for 10 - 12 toddlers so you are welcome to invite friends.
'A beautiful show, an original and magical experience for little children. I'd highly recommend it to others' Parent
Are you aged 14-21?
Are you a singer or a musician?
Do you live in London?
We’re looking for musicians, singers and performers to join performance artist Kim Noble, director Pol Heyvaert and musician Jakob Ampe to create and perform a new piece called Wild Life FM in our 2017/18 season: an honest, raw exposition of what it’s like being young today.
The piece will be developed and devised using the skills and lives of you, the cast. Send us a short video example of your work by 23 June 2017 and we’ll be holding auditions in July. Tell us the meaning of music in your life and help us create the antidote to the current talent show culture. Performers will earn £1,000.
This show is not going to be what you expect. It’s not a play. It’s not a gig. It’s also both those things.
Performer fee (payment to you): £1,000
Rehearsals: 4 December 2017– 11 January 2018
Performances: 12 – 20 January 2018
A collaboration between arts centre CAMPO (Before Your very Eyes, Next Day, Five Easy Pieces), Unicorn Theatre London and Norfolk & Norwich Festival.
In Spring 2016, Pol Heyvaert, Kim Noble and Jakob Ampe and ten young singer-songwriters aged 15 – 22 from across Norfolk created Wild Life, a performance commissioned by the Norfolk Norwich festival. Developed organically from the lives of the performers, the songs that they write and what science tells us about how teenagers’ brains work, this theatre piece uses original music and everyday sound bites as a backdrop to expose the stark truths about being young in 2016, and about the complex teenager’s mind and the influence of (mainly sad) music.
“Wild Life is genre-defying, boundary-busting and the most innovative work I have seen so far this year. (…) In a refreshing, amusing and fun concert like no other they present a narrative about making a show about themselves and in doing so perform their reflective, angry, joyful and original songs about their young adult lives in the contemporary world.” Eastern Daily, 20 May 2016
Wild Life was the catalyst for a deeper conversation between Pol Heyvaert and Kim Noble, it was as if this creation exposed a much bigger potential, which both Pol and Kim are now ready to tackle.
In 2017-2018 WILD LIFE FM will be created, building on the heritage of Wild Life, in a Unicorn Theatre and CAMPO collaboration. Funny, beautiful, angry and painfully honest, Wild Life FM will explore the lives of young people and the universal experience of how music makes you feel – all within the frame of a live radio show, created for a live (theatre) audience.
The result will be a participative theatre production that will be adapted to each city and context it’ll be presented: local teenagers on stage mixed with some teens from the previous show (Norfolk, London, Gent, … ).
Kim Noble will explore the worrying aspects of teenagehood with them. Jakob Ampe will work with them on music. Pol Heyvaert directs.
Our hearts go out to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims, and to all of those affected by this terrible attack.
As representatives of the cultural venues in the area, we are working together to ensure that our venues remain safe, open and welcoming to all. We will continue with our programmes as planned and demonstrate the cultural sector's spirit, strength and ability to unite people of all backgrounds.
London is a city defined by its culture. We all intend to play our part in continuing to build and share this culture, and to welcome visitors from the city and the world to our creative events and spaces.
Menier Chocolate Factory
Siobhan Davies Dance
The Old Vic
The Unicorn Theatre