The Head of Studio at the National Theatre, Purni Morell, is to become the new Artistic Director of leading children’s theatre the Unicorn in September.
Since taking on her current post at the National Theatre in 2007, Morell has helped oversee the development of many major new productions for the venue, including Nation, the family adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s novel, and London Road, the acclaimed documentary musical which is currently playing in the Cottesloe theatre.
Morell has worked in theatre since the 1990s, applying her creative talents to companies in the UK and abroad, including Flemish Opera and Montreal’s Francois Archambault.
Joining the Unicorn will make her head of the UK’s biggest children’s theatre which, under outgoing Artistic Director Tony Graham, has developed a reputation for producing quality in-house work with the Unicorn Ensemble as well as presenting the work of visiting companies.
Morell commented: “It’s a very exciting time for children’s theatre just now, not least because there are so many talented people around the country making great shows specifically for younger audiences. The prospect of leading Britain’s largest theatre for young people is therefore tremendously exciting, and we look forward hugely to filling the Unicorn building with activity in the new season. And perhaps there will be some international gems as well.”
Also joining the Unicorn in the post of Executive Director is Anneliese Davidsen, who has previously worked at Paines Plough, Sadler’s Wells and the Young Vic.
Graham, who has been Artistic Director for the past 14 years, steps down at the end of August to pursue freelance work.