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Unicorn Theatre

The Unicorn Theatre is the UK’s leading theatre for audiences aged 2-21, serving over 70,000 children, young people and families every year through its professional performances, participation and other events. It is a central part of the Unicorn’s mission to commission new work, to tour, to be accessible to all and to encourage exchange and collaboration between theatre-makers from different countries and traditions, coming together to develop ideas and projects.

Funding awards

  • 2012-2013: £998,099
  • 2013-2014: £1,021,055
  • 2014-2015: £1,047,603

Video feed

Britain's Best Recruiting Sergeant | For ages 8+ | Until 15 Mar

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/70/britain-s-best-recruiting-sergeant Join us for a feisty, song-filled and touching look at the real-life story of Vesta Tilley. We follow Little Tilley as she takes her first steps onto the iconic music hall stage with her father, hones her own act and then goes it alone in order to become Vesta Tilley - Britain's Best Recruiting Sergeant; a shining star of the music hall whose much-loved act as a male impersonator makes her world-famous. War breaks out and Vesta supports the cause by using her popular act to recruit soldiers to fight for king and country, but has she used her stardom for good? And is winning the most important thing? The Unicorn commemorates the centenary of World War One with this musical production, specially created for family audiences.

The Velveteen Rabbit | 28 Mar - 26 Apr | For everyone aged 4+

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/21/the-velveteen-rabbit There was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid. He was fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be; and for at least two hours the Boy loved him. Join us for the return of hit show The Velveteen Rabbit, a heart-warming story about a very shy toy rabbit who longs for nothing more than to become real. He spends his days waiting patiently on the nursery floor, watching the Boy play with the other toys and dreaming of being picked up and loved. And then, one day, he is rediscovered and all his hopes start to come true… First published in 1922, this classic American tale loses nothing of its power, magic and charm in this bold and adventure-filled adaptation for the Unicorn stage.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle | Until 21 Mar | For ages 11+

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/74/the-caucasian-chalk-circle Blood runs through the streets and the Governor's severed head is nailed to the gates of the city. A young servant girl must make a choice: save her own skin or sacrifice everything to rescue an abandoned child... A time of terror, followed by a time of peace. Order has been restored and the Governor's Wife returns to reclaim the son she left behind. Now the choice is the judge's: who is the real mother of the forgotten child? A bold and inventive new production of Brecht's moral masterpiece, accompanied by a live and original soundtrack.

Britain's Best Recruiting Sergeant | 13 Feb - 15 Mar | For ages 8+

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/70/britain-s-best-recruiting-sergeant Join us for a feisty, song-filled and touching look at the real-life story of Vesta Tilley. We follow Little Tilley as she takes her first steps onto the iconic music hall stage with her father, hones her own act and then goes it alone in order to become Vesta Tilley - Britain's Best Recruiting Sergeant; a shining star of the music hall whose much-loved act as a male impersonator makes her world-famous. War breaks out and Vesta supports the cause by using her popular act to recruit soldiers to fight for king and country, but has she used her stardom for good? And is winning the most important thing? The Unicorn commemorates the centenary of World War One with this musical production, specially created for family audiences.

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Henry the Fifth | 17 - 31 May | For ages 8+

Kings need crowns and castles to prove themselves, and so does Henry. Henry the Fifth, that is, of England. But Henry is running out of cash and all he can think about is that his neighbour’s castle is bigger than his… Following critical acclaim when it premiered in 2013, Henry the Fifth is back for 2 weeks only. Described as ‘a clever and engaging show’ by the Guardian and ‘probing’ and ‘playful’ by the Telegraph, this modern, fun and inventive take on Shakespeare’s play is an absolute must-see.

The Polar Bears Go Wild | Unicorn Theatre | 9 - 25 Jan | For ages 2+

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/64/the-polar-bears-go-wild If you're five or under, then here's the show for you. Get here on your skis/snowshoes/tractor, or paddle your canoe. Calling all brave explorers! Join two friendly (and slightly naughty) polar bears on the adventure of a lifetime. Where are they going? What will they get up to next? And have they got enough sandwiches? Because polar bears love sandwiches, everyone knows that! With music, laughter and quite a bit of cheekiness The Polar Bears Go Wild is a perfect treat for young audiences.

A look back at 2014 at the Unicorn Theatre

It's been another hugely successful year here at the Unicorn - not only have we produced 16 of our own shows but we've also taken our work overseas, presented great theatre from around the world and have won or been nominated for 4 awards in this year alone. Take a look at our short video to find out what what we've been getting up to...

The Nutcracker and The Mouse King | Unicorn Theatre | For everyone aged 8+, until 4 Jan

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/69/the-nutcracker-and-the-mouse-king 'The most enchanting night I have had at the theatre for quite some time' WhatsOnStage This Christmas the Unicorn goes back to the roots of E.T.A. Hoffmann's magical story to create this wondrous and festive production of an old and favourite title. It's Christmas Eve, 1805. Seven year-old Marie retrieves the sad and broken Nutcracker from under the Christmas tree and promises to look after him. But on the stroke of midnight he comes alive, and after enlisting Marie’s help in his battle with the evil Mouse King, they journey together through strange and fantastical stories until they finally arrive in a secret land made of nothing but candy. Full of magic, mice and adventure, this will be a Christmas show to remember.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King - what audience members are saying!

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/69/the-nutcracker-and-the-mouse-king Find out what audience members and the press have been saying about our biggest Christmas show yet, The Nutcracker and The Mouse King! The show runs until 4 Jan and is suitable for children aged 8+ and their families.

The Fourth Wise Man | 30 Nov - 4 Jan | For ages 4+

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/66/the-fourth-wise-man Everyone has heard of the Three Wise Men, but have you heard of Artaban, the fourth? One day Artaban, the wisest of them all, spots a beautiful new star in the sky. It's the biggest and brightest star he has ever seen, and he knows it will lead him to something special. A special baby in fact, so special that everything (and that means everything) must be perfect. Join Artaban as he prepares for a momentous journey. But what should he wear? What gift should he bring? And where on earth will he find the right camel? A funny and heart-warming show about one man and an elusive camel that will leave audiences with a decidedly Christmassy glow. https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/66/the-fourth-wise-man

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King | 21 Nov - 4 Jan | For ages 8+

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/69/the-nutcracker-and-the-mouse-king This Christmas the Unicorn goes back to the roots of E.T.A. Hoffman's magical story to create this wondrous and festive production of an old and favourite title. It's Christmas Eve, 1805. Seven year-old Marie retrieves the sad and broken Nutcracker from under the Christmas tree and promises to look after him. But on the stroke of midnight he comes alive, and after enlisting Marie’s help in his battle with the evil Mouse King, they journey together through strange and fantastical stories until they finally arrive in a secret land made of nothing but candy. Full of magic, mice and adventure, this will be a Christmas show to remember. https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/69/the-nutcracker-and-the-mouse-king

When was the first time you were completely alone?

As part of our production of Triple Bill with Dance Umbrella in autumn 2014, we worked with pupils from Comber Grove Primary School to create an installation in the foyer for adults to engage with while their children were in the auditorium, watching the show. This film was part of that installation. Made by Mattia Pagura, http://www.mattiapagura.eu/ Choreography and stories by pupils from Comber Grove Primary School Thanks to Lucy-Anne Evans Music by dxlj

Girls Like That | A Unicorn Theatre / Synergy Theatre Project production | For ages 13+

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/73/girls-like-that By Evan Placey Directed by Esther Baker A naked photo of Scarlett goes viral. Rumours spread across smartphones like wildfire and her reputation becomes toxic, threatening to shatter the fragile unity of the girls she has grown up with. But how long can Scarlett remain silent? And why isn't it the same for boys? Girls Like That is an urgent and explosive play that explores gender equality and the pressures on today's digital generation. Contains strong language. https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/73/girls-like-that

Nosferatu, Dracula but not quite as you know it...

Nosferatu, 30 Oct - 2 Nov 2014 Meet Bob Theatre, the men behind the fantastic production of Nosferatu - a witty and rather spooky take on everyone's favourite bat-gone-bad tale. https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/15/nosferatu Nosferatu is suitable for all braves souls aged 8+

How Nigeria Became: A story, and a spear that didn't work | What the audience are saying

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/68/how-nigeria-became-a-story-and-a-spear-that-didn-t-work It's 1914, one hundred years ago exactly, and Nigeria is about to be formed. Herbert and his well-known troupe of female actors are preparing to stage a story for the British Governor and his wife. The story of the Spear of Shango is about a brave young woman who must use her strength and agility to save her father's kingdom. But there's a problem, the story doesn't quite fit with the governor's vision of a united country... This colourful and quick-witted production offers a creative insight into Nigeria's beginnings in 1914. Written and directed by British Nigerian playwright Gbolahan Obisesan, How Nigeria Became: A Story, and A Spear That Didn't Work commemorates the centenary of Nigeria as part of Black History Month at the Unicorn.

Seesaw | For ages 2+ | Until 2 Nov

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/61/seesaw Seesaw A Unicorn production By Stewart Melton Directed by Sarah Argent Being little can be hard work. There are holes to dig, sand castles to make, treasures to find, adventures to be had. It's much easier when you have a friend to help. But what if making friends is hard work too? Seesaw explores the push and pull of friendship, and the ups and downs of being very young.

Why is Brecht still relevant today? - an interview with Dr Laura Bradley

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/74/the-caucasian-chalk-circle A Unicorn production Blood runs through the streets and the Governor's severed head is nailed to the gates of the city. A young servant girl must make a choice: save her own skin or sacrifice everything to rescue an abandoned child... A time of terror, followed by a time of peace. Order has been restored and the Governor's Wife returns to reclaim the son she left behind. Now the choice is the judge's: who is the real mother of the forgotten child? A bold and inventive new production of Brecht's moral masterpiece, accompanied by a live and original soundtrack. Resource pack for schools with drama scheme of work coming soon. School workshops available. https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/74/the-caucasian-chalk-circle With special thanks to Dr Laura Bradley from The University of Edinburgh.

An insight in to the Unicorn Theatre's 'The Caucasian Chalk Circle'

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/74/the-caucasian-chalk-circle A Unicorn production Blood runs through the streets and the Governor's severed head is nailed to the gates of the city. A young servant girl must make a choice: save her own skin or sacrifice everything to rescue an abandoned child... A time of terror, followed by a time of peace. Order has been restored and the Governor's Wife returns to reclaim the son she left behind. Now the choice is the judge's: who is the real mother of the forgotten child? A bold and inventive new production of Brecht's moral masterpiece, accompanied by a live and original soundtrack. Resource pack for schools with drama scheme of work coming soon. School workshops available. https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/74/the-caucasian-chalk-circle With special thanks to Dr Laura Bradley & Juliet Stevenson. Soundtrack composed by Dom Coyote.

Emma Gladstone (Dance Umbrella) & Purni Morell (Unicorn Theatre) in conversation about Triple Bill

Emma Gladstone ( Chief Executive and This October half term, the Unicorn is joining forces with Dance Umbrella, London's contemporary dance festival, to bring young audiences an exciting new mixed bill of award-winning dance to under 12s - and only under 12s!* Triple Bill brings together three internationally acclaimed choreographers, all with very different styles, each at the top of their game. Specifically created with young audiences in mind, the show includes hip-hop from France, contemporary dance from Norway, and the technical wizardry of the UK's Wayne McGregor | Random Dance. *For the first time in our history we're banning the adults! Anyone over 12 years old will only be able to attend the matinee performance on 28 Oct only, audience members will be looked after by our friendly Front of House team and the Triple Bill compere, Peter Laycock - a freelance dance artist who has worked extensively in a wide variety of educational and community settings across the UK. Anyone over 12 years old will be invited to enjoy an installation in our foyer, part-curated by Comber Grove Primary School Primary School. In this video, Emma Gladstone (Artistic Director & Chief Executive of Dance Umbrella) and Purni Morell (Artistic Director of the Unicorn) discuss the show and why they decided to make it for under 12s only.

HOW NIGERIA BECAME: A STORY, AND A SPEAR THAT DIDN'T WORK | 9 OCT - 9 NOV | FOR AGES 8+

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/68/how-nigeria-became-a-story-and-a-spear-that-didn-t-work A Unicorn production It's 1914, one hundred years ago exactly, and Nigeria is about to be formed. Herbert and his well-known troupe of female actors are preparing to stage a story for the British Governor and his wife. The story of the Spear of Shango is about a brave young woman who must use her strength and agility to save her father's kingdom. But there's a problem, the story doesn't quite fit with the governor's vision of a united country... This colourful and quick-witted production offers a creative insight into Nigeria's beginnings in 1914. Written and directed by British Nigerian playwright Gbolahan Obisesan, How Nigeria Became: A Story, and A Spear That Didn't Work commemorates the centenary of Nigeria as part of Black History Month at the Unicorn. https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/68/how-nigeria-became-a-story-and-a-spear-that-didn-t-work Soundtrack composed by Donato Wharton.

What happens when you ask a group of 9 & 10 year olds to create an installation for adults?

What happens when you ask a group of 9 & 10 year olds to create an installation for adults? In October 2014, Dance Umbrella and the Unicorn Theatre will present three award-winning and international dance works for ages 8-12. On two of the performance dates, adults will not be allowed into the auditorium to watch the show. We asked a group of 9&10 year old pupils at Comber Grove Primary School to create an interactive installation for the adults who are left behind whilst their children watch the show. This film is a behind the scenes look into that process... The brief was to make adults think about how it feels to be aged around 9 or 10, when you start to become independent from your parents and when you start to do things by yourself. The children worked with a dance artist to explore these ideas through dance, choreography, discussion and writing. Film made by Mattia Pagura, http://www.mattiapagura.eu/ Music by dxlj

Triple Bill | Presented by Dance Umbrella & Unicorn Theatre | 28 - 29 Oct 2014

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/63/triple-bill The Unicorn and Dance Umbrella join forces for an exciting new mixed bill of award-winning, international dance for under 12s - and only under 12s! This show is not open to adults. Three exceptional dance performances choreographed by Wayne McGregor, Hege Haagenrud Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang - each with a distinctive style and all visually stunning - come to the Unicorn in this event. This is dance at its best. There will be three performances only. Adults / over 12s will be admitted into the matinee performance on 28 Oct; all evening performances will be for under 12s exclusively. Parents, carers and older siblings are invited to take part in a range of foyer activities devised by Comber Grove Primary School while their children are watching the performances upstairs. The work: How to be Alone by Hege Haagenrud Hege Haagenrud is the most performed choreographer for young audiences in Norway. In this trio she uses text as well as movement to consider the ups and downs of friendship. AP15 by Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang (Germany) An inventive hip hop duet full of combative energy - an international hit, this duet was recently awarded a Bessie award in New York. FAR by Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (UK) A resident choreographer of the Royal Ballet, whose company is resident at Sadler's Wells, Wayne McGregor is known for his thrilling, fast and athletic style, as this piece will reveal. https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/63/triple-bill

The Beauty of Decay | An interview with Onny Huisink

Onny Huisink from Speeltheater Holland Studio talks us through his Beauty of Decay puppet installation.

The Secret Life of Suitcases | Unicorn Theatre 18 Sep - 12 Oct & touring | For ages 4+

https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/65/the-secret-life-of-suitcases An Ailie Cohen Puppet Maker / Unicorn production The Secret Life of Suitcases By Lewis Hetherington and Ailie Cohen Larry works in an office and he likes it very much. He likes sorting and tidying and generally putting things in order. Everything in its place, a place for everything. But one day, a suitcase suddenly appears at his door. A suitcase with a tiny label. A tiny label with Larry's name on it. And this suitcase has a mission... Join Larry as his world gets turned upside down by a fantastical flying suitcase in this funny and enchanting new collaboration nominated for a Critics' Award for Theatre in Scotland, with renowned Scottish puppeteer, Ailie Cohen (Cloud Man, The Man Who Planted Trees). https://www.unicorntheatre.com/whatson/65/the-secret-life-of-suitcases

Death's Row video diary: After the first performance

Klajdi Selimi, a member of Unicorn Young Company has been supported in developing his first script by other members of the company and Joeri Smet, a Director from the Belgian Theatre Company, Ontroerend Goed. With Joeri's support, Klajdi will be directing members of the Young Company over two weeks in Summer 2014 - we'll be keeping a daily video diary to find out what they're discovering along the way.

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Contact details

http://unicorntheatre.com

147 Tooley Street
London
SE1 2HZ
London
SE1 2HZ

51.503441, -0.07908

  • 51.503441 -0.07908

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