6 Mar 2018

News

Find out the latest news from behind the scenes at the Unicorn!

 

STAR IN OUR PHOTOSHOOT!

 

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). 

The photos will be used to create posters for shows in our new season and be used only to promote the Unicorn’s shows. If you would be interested in taking part, please email your name, email, phone number and name and photo of the young model to helen.tovey@unicorntheatre.com by 5pm Wednesday 7 March.

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 

Younger children
  • 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

If you would be interested in taking part or have any questions, please email your name, email, phone number and name and photo of the young model to helen.tovey@unicorntheatre.com by 5pm Wednesday 7 March.
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11 Jan 2018

THE UNICORN THEATRE APPOINTS JUSTIN AUDIBERT AS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

 

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 Audibert said, “Under the leadership of Purni and Anneliese, the Unicorn has flourished as one of the most innovative, provocative and international theatres in the UK. It has become a crucible of experimentation, not afraid to ask the most difficult questions about how we live in an ever changing world. I feel privileged to be building on this wonderful legacy and can’t wait to work with the brilliant team to make the Unicorn a creative home for the most talented artists working in theatre today. Above all else though, I feel incredibly excited and honoured to be leading our inspirational audiences on what I am sure will be an exhilarating journey of discovery, to imagine other possibilities and to explore new worlds.”

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.
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5 Jan 2018

Exclusive dress rehearsal - limited free tickets

 

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.

The dress will be around 1 hour 10 mins and will be the first time the show is run through on the stage. Dress rehearsals are usually closed to the public but we are able to offer up to 10 pairs of tickets to the first people to get in touch.

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 invite@unicorntheatre.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.
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21 Dec 2017

Your #LoveUnicorn Stories

 

2017 is almost finished and what a brilliant start to our 70th Anniversary season it’s been.


There is plenty more to come in 2018 but before the New year starts we wanted to take a moment in this delightful family time to remember a few of the reason why our audiences #LOVE UNICORN.

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   
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26 Oct 2017

Joint Statement on the Theatre Industry

 

Monday 23rd October 2017

Following the reports and allegations of the last two weeks, first in America and, more recently, closer to home, we have come together to make clear that there can be no place for sexual harassment or abuse of power in our industry. 

We salute the bravery of everyone who calls out this abusive behaviour. We support a theatre culture that empowers people to speak up: a culture where abuse of power is always challenged.  

We are committed to working together to ensure that theatre is a safe space for all, where everyone is respected and listened to. The Royal Court Theatre’s Day of Action on Saturday 28 October is one important part of this process.  Together, we are developing further ways to support people to speak up and to hold others to account. 

It is the responsibility of the industry to create and nurture a culture where unacceptable behaviour is swiftly challenged and addressed.  
We want to be absolutely clear and say again: there is no room for sexual harassment or abuse of power in the theatre.  Everyone deserves to enjoy a happy, healthy and safe working environment. We will support you to speak out, and we will hear you when you do.
 
Statement from (in alphabetical order) 

Almeida Theatre – Rupert Goold, Denise Wood 
Ambassador Theatre Group - Mark Cornell and Michael Lynas
Arcola Theatre – Mehmet Ergen, Leyla Nazli, Ben Todd
Arts Theatre - Louis Hartshorn
Battersea Arts Centre – David Jubb
Barbican Theatre - Toni Racklin
Belgrade Theatre – Hamish Glen, Joanna Reid 
Bridge Theatre – Nicholas Hytner, Nick Starr
Birmingham Hippodrome - Fiona Allan                                                     
Birmingham Repertory Theatre – Roxana Silbert and Stuart Rogers
Birmingham Stage Company - Neal Foster and Louise Eltringham
Bristol Old Vic – Tom Morris, Emma Stenning
Bush Theatre – Madani Younis, Jon Gilchrist
Chichester Festival Theatre – Daniel Evans, Rachel Tackley
Curve Theatre - Chris Stafford and Nikolai Foster
Derby Theatre – Sarah Brigham
Donmar Warehouse – Josie Rourke, Kate Pakenham 
D'Oyly Carte Opera Trust - Ian Martin
Eclipse - Dawn Walton
English Touring Theatre - Richard Twyman, Sophie Watson            
Gate Theatre – Ellen McDougall, Jo Royce
Global Creatures - Carmen Pavlovic and Patrick Murphy
Greenwich Theatre - James Haddrell
Hampstead Theatre – Edward Hall, Greg Ripley-Duggan
Harrogate Theatre - David Bown
Headlong – Jeremy Herrin, Alan Stacey
Hofesh Shechter Company – Hofesh Shechter, Henny Finch 
HOME, Manchester – Dave Moutrey, Sheena Wrigley
Hull Truck Theatre - Janthi Mills-Ward and Mark Babych
HQ Theatres and Hospitality – Julian Russell
Kneehigh – Mike Shepherd, Ali Robertson
Leicester Curve – Chris Stafford, Nikolai Foster
Lichfield Garrick Theatre – Karen Foster
Liverpool Everyman and Theatre - Gemma Bodinetz and Deborah Aydon
Live Theatre - Jim Beirne, Max Roberts and Wendy Barnfather
London Theatre Consortium – Emma Rees
Lyric Hammersmith – Sean Holmes, Sian Alexander
Lyric Theatre, Belfast - Ciaran McAuley
Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre – Mark Dobson
Marina Theatre - Lee Henderson
Mark Goucher Productions Limited – Mark Goucher
Mark Rubinstein Ltd – Mark Rubinstein
Menier Chocolate Factory - David Babani and Tom Siracusa
Mercury Theatre Colchester - Steve Mannix
National Theatre – Rufus Norris, Lisa Burger
National Theatre of Scotland - Jackie Wylie and Brenna Hobson
Neal Street Productions -  Caro Newling
Newcastle Theatre Royal and City Hall – Philip Bernays
New Adventures - Robert Noble
New Wolsey Theatre – Sarah Homes. Peter Rowe 
Northern Ballet - Mark Skipper and David Nixon
Northern Stage - Lorne Campbell and Kate Denby
Nottingham Playhouse - Stephanie Sirr, Adam Penford, Giles Croft
Nuffield Southampton Theatres - Sam Hodges and Caroline Routh
Octagon Theatre Bolton - Roddy Gauld and Elizabeth Newman
Old Vic – Matthew Warchus, Kate Varah
Orange Tree Theatre – Paul Miller, Sarah Nicholson
Oxford Playhouse - Louise Chantal
Pitlochry Festival Theatre - John Durnin and Kris Bryce
Playful Productions – Matthew Byam Shaw, Nia Janis, Nick Salmon
Polka Theatre - Peter Glanville, Stephen Midlane, Amanda Cropper        
Rose Theatre Kingston - Jerry Gunn and Robert O'Dowd
Royal Court Theatre – Vicky Featherstone, Lucy Davies
Royal & Derngate - Martin Sutherland and James Dacre
Royal Exchange Theatre – Mark Dobson, Sarah Frankcom
Royal Opera House – Alex Beard, Oliver Mears
Royal Ballet – Kevin O’Hare
Royal Shakespeare Company - Gregory Doran, Catherine Mallyon
Runaway Entertainment - Tristan Baker, Charlie Parsons
Sadler’s Wells, Alistair Spalding 
Salisbury Playhouse – Gareth Machin, Sebastian Warrack
Shakespeare’s Globe – Emma Rice, Neil Constable, Michelle Terry
Sheffield Theatres - Dan Bates
Sherman Theatre -  Rachel O'Riordan,  Julia Barry
Soho Theatre - Steve Marmion, Mark Godfrey 
SOLT / UK Theatre – Julian Bird, Cassandra Chadderton 
Sonia Friedman Productions – Sonia Friedman
Stephen Joseph Theatre - Stephen Freeman
Theatr Clwyd – Tamara Harvey, Liam Evans-Ford
Theatre by the Lake – Conrad Lynch
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds - Karen Simpson      
Theatre Royal Plymouth - Adrian Vinken
Theatre Royal Stratford East – Nadia Fall, Deborah Sawyerr 
The Capitol Horsham - Nick Mowat
The Mill at Sonning - Sally Hughes
The Other Room - Dan Jones, Bizzy Day
The Round Company - Tobias Round
tiata fahodzi - Natalie Ibu        
Told by an Idiot – Paul Hunter, Jenni Grainger
Tricycle Theatre – Indhu Rubasingham, Bridget Kalloushi 
Unicorn Theatre – Purni Morell, Anneliese Davidsen
Venue Cymru / Theatr Colwyn – Sarah Ecob
Warwick Arts Centre – Alan Rivett
Watford Palace Theatre - Jamie Arden and Brigid Larmour
West Yorkshire Playhouse – James Brining and Robin Hawkes
Wizard Presents - Danyah Miller, John Miller
Young Vic – David Lan, Lucy Woollatt 

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9 Aug 2017

COULD YOUR TODDLER STAR IN OUR PHOTOSHOOT?

 

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:

When: Wed 16 Aug, 4.15 - 5pm (arriving by 4pm)
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 jane.dodson@unicorntheatre.com 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

WATCH TRAILER

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9 May 2017

OPEN AUDITIONS! We’re looking for singers, musicians and performers

 

WE ARE HOLDING OPEN AUDITIONS ON SATURDAY 1 JULY.

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.
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14 Jun 2017

A Statement from London’s Southbank and Bankside Cultural Organisations

 

We have all been shocked and saddened by the terrible events at London Bridge and Borough Market on Saturday night.

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.

Hayward Gallery
National Theatre
Menier Chocolate Factory
Rambert 
Shakespeare’s Globe
Siobhan Davies Dance
Southbank Centre
Southwark Playhouse
Tate Modern
The Bunker
The Old Vic
The Unicorn Theatre
Young Vic
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24 Feb 2017

The Unicorn's hit show Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore returns before a mini tour in 2017

 

We're very proud to announce that our "stupidly lovely" (Time Out) production of Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore, for ages 3+, will return for a four week run from mid March before it goes on tour to Dublin in April and Brighton in May. We're also very much looking forward to seeing Fionn Gill (who also played Septimus in Septimus Bean and His Amazing Machine in 2016) return to play Oooglemore and to welcome newcomers Jude Owusu as Jeramee and Lotte Tickner as Hartleby.


The Unicorn Theatre is 70 this year and this is a real moment to celebrate Unicorn founder Caryl Jenner’s passion that 'the best of theatre for children should be judged on the same high standards of writing, directing, acting and design as the best of adult theatre'. Our Artistic Director Purni Morell said ‘Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore in particular is a show that truly demonstrates the Unicorn’s commitment to creating the very best, and to experimenting with what is possible.’

Directed by the ever-brilliant Tim Crouch (I Malvolio, An Oak Tree) and written by the exceptionally talented Gary Owen (Iphigenia in Splott, National Theatre; Violence and Son, Royal Court), Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore is an impeccable and utterly delightful piece of theatre. See it if you can, wherever you can.

Unicorn Theatre: Sun 12 Mar – Sun 9 Apr 2017  
The Ark, Dublin: Wed 12 – Wed 26 Apr 2017
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16 Nov 2016

A first: A Unicorn play in Jordan

 

‘International cultural exchange is good for everyone who comes into contact with it. At the Unicorn we see ourselves as the flagship for theatre for young audiences in the UK and being based in London – a culturally diverse city with people from all over the world – we take our responsibility to connect people from across the globe very seriously.’
Purni Morell, Artistic Director

In the summer of 2015 our Artistic Director, Purni Morell, was invited to the Haya Cultural Centre – the first arts centre in Jordan just for children – to share her knowledge of creating theatre for young people. As a result of these conversations, one of our regular directors, Sarah Argent, visited Amman, with the support of the British Council, to work with local actors and create a new staging of our production Seesaw for ages 2+ for HCC’s international theatre festival.

Seesaw (written by Stewart Melton and opened by Sarah at the Unicorn in 2014) is set in a sandpit and is about two children working out how to be themselves and how to be with other people. The play explores emotions and feelings common to all children no matter where they live or what language they speak. Working with local actors and technicians through an Arabic language translator, Sarah directed the show over a few weeks.  It’s now ready and opened on 17 Nov.  It will then become part of the centre’s regular repertoire, playing to local Jordanian children for seasons to come. Sarah Argent said:  

‘This was my first time in the Middle East and it is thrilling to see how Stewart Melton's beautiful play will go down with audiences of children and families here in Jordan. It was fascinating how Arabic-speaking actors interpreted the roles of Girl and Boy and each rehearsal day was a delight and a challenge. I am very proud of the end result.'Other work in this year’s festival includes A Mano from Spain (which also played at the Unicorn last year). The festival closes on 20 November with a run of Seesaw performances which we hope will go down there as well as they did with our London audiences…
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