26 Sep - 27 Oct 2019 Age guide: 9 - 13

A Unicorn Production

Maggot Moon

"The Best Thing We Have Is Our Imagination..."

  • Based on the novel by Sally Gardner
  • Adapted for the stage by Jemma Kennedy
  • Directed by Jesse Jones
Book tickets now 26 Sep - 27 Oct 2019
  • Weston Theatre in the Unicorn
    Under 18s: £6 - £16
    Adults: £10 - £22
    Offers: Multi-buys & Previews

  • 26 Sep 2019 Thu 10.30 AVAILABLE
  • 27 Sep 2019 Fri 11.00 LIMITED AVAILABILITY
  • 28 Sep 2019 Sat 13.00 AVAILABLE
  • View more dates >
Age guide: 9 - 13
Duration: Approx 1 hr

"The Best Thing We Have Is Our Imagination..."

We're excited to be bringing Sally Gardner’s dazzlingly original and award-winning dystopian novel to the stage. Using live drawing, cameras and projection, this world première expresses the world of the book and the extraordinary spirit of its main character, 15-year-old Standish Treadwell.

In a sinister 1950s Britain, dark government forces are at work and spies and surveillance are everywhere. Standish tells us his story as he begins to unravel the dark secrets of the violent and oppressive Motherland and form a plan to try save his best friend and uncover the truth, no matter what.

I keep wondering what if.
What if the football hadn’t gone over the wall?
What if Hector had never gone looking for it?
What if he hadn’t kept the dark discovery to himself?
Then I suppose I would be telling another story. The ‘what ifs’ are as boundless as the stars.

This is an utterly gripping and deeply moving story for young audiences about protecting the ones you love, and the courage it takes to do the right thing.

Visit the Maggot Moon website to find out more about the book.

Please note this show contains very occasional use of strong language - please contact us if you would like more information. 

More info


Press on the book

‘The most original publication for years’ The Times

‘Arresting and original and written in a singular voice...’ The Telegraph

'Has clear potential to become a modern classic' Booktrust

‘Startlingly original, horribly gripping ... an inspirational [story].’ The Times

‘This novel is a celebration of the refusal of the human spirit to be crushed and in Standish, Gardner has created a hero to be cherished.’ Daily Mail


'I had been doing a lot of research on the first and the second world wars when I came across the ‘what if’ history. It’s a simple idea – you take a momentous piece of history and ask what would have happened if things had turned out differently.'

'I wanted to have a main character who was dyslexic like me, except I wanted to portray him not through bad spelling, as is so often done in literature, but through the way he thinks, and how he sees the world slightly off key. Bad spelling is, after all, only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to being dyslexic. Standish is a character that seemed so natural to write, he almost wrote himself. He is one that I love dearly.'


This show is suitable for School Years 6 - 9
Tickets £10 / Non-fee school offers from £7
Free schools' resource pack online & to download
Free teacher CPD: Thu 19 Sep, 4.30pm - 7pm (for secondary school teachers)
Fri 20 Sep, 10am – 4pm (for primary)
Enquire about booking a free post-show talk / Audio-Described performance

The Year 7 Project
A transition project specifically for Year 7 students around Maggot Moon that develops confidence, communcation, emotional literacy and positive relationships between peers. £7.50 per student for non-fee-paying schools / £10 per student for fee-paying schools (with one free teacher per ten tickets booked). More information

Got a question? Contact schools@unicorntheatre.com


Join us for a free post-show talk with Sally Gardner, the author of Maggot Moon, after the 1pm or 5pm performances on Sat 5 Oct.


Tickets: £6 - £16 under 18s / £12 - £22 adults (termtime dates offer lowest prices, holiday weekends at top price. Holidays 19 - 27 Oct)


Previews (26 Sep - 3 Oct): £10 under 18s / adults

Multi-Buy Offer: save 15% by booking two or more different shows in our Aug '19 - Jul '20 season at the same time.

Offer applies automatically at checkout & is subject to availability. Excludes workshops/events & other offers. Where you have different numbers of tickets across shows, the discount may only apply to part of your booking.


Relaxed Performances are open to everyone but particuarly support children with additional needs. Adjustments are made to the show & there's a chill-out space. A visual story will be available.

Audio-Described performances offer an introduction & live commentary via a headset. Free 45-min Touch Tour beforehand which can be booked with access tickets.

Use Access User types when booking online. Book / find out more about Access at the Unicorn.

Relaxed Performance
Saturday 19 October 2019, 13.30
Friday 18 October 2019, 11.00
Audio Described Performance
Sunday 20 October 2019, 13.00
Touch tours
Sunday 20 October 2019, 13.00


James Day
James Newton

Creative Team
Based on the novel by
Sally Gardner
Adapted for the stage by Jemma Kennedy
Director Jesse Jones
Designer Lucy Sierra
Projection & Video Designer Akhila Krishnan
Lighting Designer Sam Waddington
Composer & Sound Designer Benjamin Grant


Image by Peter Schiazza and Eureka!


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