The Unicorn theatre has announced a vibrant mix of international productions for its 2013/2014 season, with everything from family-friendly Shakespeare to the return of Sally Cookson’s Olivier Award nominated Cinderella: A Fairytale and new adult drama on offer.
Opening the new season from 12 to 29 September is Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Othello The Remix, which returns to the UK following its successful run last summer as part of the Globe To Globe Festival. Suitable for ages 13 and older, The Q Brothers’ urban take on the classic drama is the first of two family-friendly Shakespearean adaptations in the Unicorn’s new line-up, with Ellen McDougall directing Ignace Cornelissen’s Henry The Fifth, which retells the Bard’s famous tale of war and royal duty, from 8 October to 16 November.
From 13 September to 17 November, the venue’s Artistic Director Purni Morell will direct Dora, a charming tale about a hoarder based on Helen East’s popular picture book, marking the first of an eclectic variety of shows in the newly announced season suitable for younger primary school children. The director will return to the limelight in March 2014 to present a new adaptation of another hugely successful book, Margery Williams’ much-loved The Velveteen Rabbit, for children aged four and older.
Adding to the line-up of shows for audience members of a similar age is Cinderella: A Fairytale (suitable for ages six and older), which plays from 26 November to 5 January and returns to London following its critically acclaimed run at the St James theatre last Christmas where it was lauded for its original take on the famous festive classic. Looking into 2014, Grandpa’s Railway (suitable for children aged five and older), which uses a real working model train set on stage, plays from 28 January to 9 February, with Dutch theatremakers Maas Theater & Dans presenting their suspense-filled Wanted: Rabbit (suitable for children aged four and older) from 18 to 23 February.
Halloween will bring a spooky treat for children aged eight and older in the form of Nosferatu (31 October to 2 November), a French adaptation of the classic supernatural story by Bob Theatre. Offering children of a similar age something completely different, Tangere Arts will present a new look at Chaucer’s The Pardoner’s Tale from 16 to 31 January, while Mark Arends will return to the venue following the huge success of recent puppetry hit Something Very Far Away to bring another live animation tale to the stage when At The End Of Everything Else, a story about a bird who tries to save the planet, plays from 29 March to 19 April.
For secondary school-aged children, the new season offers a host of treats including Inua Ellams’ superhero-inspired Cape (19 to 23 November), which is presented by Synergy Theatre Project, a company that works with prisoners, ex-prisoners and young people at risk of offending. Cult theatremaker Chris Thorpe’s take on Doctor Faustus, Hannah, plays from 8 February to 7 March and New International Encounter’s challenging new work about culture and identity, Pim & Theo, plays from 11 to 16 March, combining sound and film design alongside live performance.
Catering for theatregoers across the whole age spectrum, the London Bridge theatre will also offer shows for children as young as 18 months in the form of Sensacional (21 September to 14 November) and Hullabaloo’s Luna (5 October to 3 November), as well as continuing Morell’s vision to programme work for an adult audience at the historically children’s venue, with Nathan Curry directing Suhayla El Bushra’s new play Cuckoo in the new year. Running from 14 to 25 January, Bushra’s drama centres on a bored mother who finds herself seduced into a booze-fuelled disillusioned good life by her daughter’s new friend, with unexpected consequences.