Frantic Assembly and English Pocket Opera Company are to take part in a brand new arts festival for children at the Unicorn theatre this summer.
U Fest, which takes place from 27 August to 4 September in association with theatre company Tamasha, offers children aged eight and older and their families the chance to watch performances and take part in a number of interactive activities including stage fighting, physical theatre, singing and drumming.
Renowned physical theatre company Frantic Assembly will demonstrate the methods it uses to create its performances, while English Pocket Opera Company presents Opera Blocks, an interactive performance that “unpacks the building blocks” of opera.
Also part of the line-up are singing collective NITROvox, rhythmic storytelling performance Freestyle Forum, drummer Sass Hoory, British-Asian clarinettist Arun Ghosh, and stage-fighting experts RC-Annie, who will invite youngsters to have a go at basic swashbuckling.
U Fest precedes an autumn season at the Unicorn theatre which includes Little Angel’s story inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest, The Magician’s Daughter (17 to 25 September), the return of its 2007 production of Michael Morpurgo’s Billy The Kid (24 September to 30 October), Theatre Centre’s play about the experience of young immigrants, Under A Foreign Sky (4 to 8 October), Tayo Aluko’s dramatisation of the life of civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (18 to 23 October) and a gritty play about family, Blackberry Trout Face, by visiting company 20 Stories High (22 to 27 November).
The season concludes with a brand new production of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, playing during the Christmas period from 23 November to 8 January. The production transports the action to the southern tip of India, where Kumar is captured by the Snow Queen during a freak storm. Discovering this, his best friend Gowri goes on an epic adventure across the continent in order to save him, encountering bandit country, the glitz of Bollywood and lush backwaters along the way.