The Unicorn theatre’s new Artistic Director Purni Morell has announced her first season at the children’s venue with a double bill from Nancy Harris and Ryan Craig, and a site-specific production Tales From The River Thames on the bill.
Other highlights from the ambitious season include animation and puppetry from Mark Arends, a new adaptation of The Legend Of Captain Crow’s Teeth and How Was It For You?, a verbatim piece by Evan Placey which will explore how the Olympics affected the lives of Londoners.
Matthew Lenton’s new version of The Legend Of Captain Crow’s Teeth for children aged seven and older will kick off the season from 31 March (press night 3 April). Based on the novel by Eoin Colfer, the story tells of an adventure with ghostly pirates, sibling rivalry and terrifying school discos.
Ellen McDougall (Ivan And The Dogs) will direct new versions of two Greek classics by Harris (New Girl) and Craig (The Holy Rosenbergs, Our Class) for a production entitled The Greeks. Opening on 1 May, the double bill will start with Harris’s The Man With The Disturbingly Smelly Foot, based on the story of Philoctetes, for children aged seven to 10-year-olds, while Craig’s How To Think The Unthinkable takes the story of Antigone and captures the passion, danger and moral deadlock of the story of Greece’s most famous teenager for 11 to 14 year olds.
Billed as a completely new theatrical experience which uses no words as at all, Arends’s Something Far Away (1 to 24 June) will be animated live in front of the audience with projection, puppetry and music. Suitable for children aged eight and older, it tells the story of a man who loses his wife in a tragic circus accident and decides to build a spaceship so he can travel into space to look back on his happy memories on earth.
Tales From The River Thames will be held in the site-specific space underneath London Bridge station and plays from 12 to 23 June. Based on stories written by 600 school children across London, the production brings to life tales of what could be in and on this mighty river.
Morell’s season will also cater for older audiences with Dennis Kelly’s gang drama DNA returning to London from 17 April, after first playing at the National Theatre in 2007, and Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award-winning play Mad About The Boy from 11 May (press night 17 May). Later in the season, theatre companies Gob Squad and Campo will present Before Your Very Eyes, a show acted by children for adults in which the young performers will enact their 40th birthday.
Speaking about her inaugural season at the venue, Morell said: “It’s a very exciting time to be joining the Unicorn. There’s a great buzz in Britain around theatre for younger audiences at the moment, and I’m delighted to be able to capitalise on that by offering both tried and tested favourites but also some quite radical new departures. What we’ve tried to do is offer everyone a taste of what is to come here in the future, and, particularly, to extend our reach out to older teenage and adult audiences with some quite challenging work that I think will surprise.”
For full details of the season, visit the Unicorn theatre’s website.