Justin Audibert announces his first season as Artistic Director of the Unicorn Theatre


Justin Audibert, the Unicorn Theatre’s new Artistic Director, announces his first season at the London venue. An audacious opening season themed around thinking about our future – the world as it is or the world as we might imagine it to be – will address concerns which affect our lives and ultimately our civilisation, with theatrical intelligence, wit and flair.

On announcing his season Justin Audibert said ‘In my first year at the helm of the Unicorn, I want us to engage in an open and honest dialogue with our audience. Onstage, the offer comprises 12 productions for everyone from 6 months and upwards. The overarching theme of the season interrogates how the world is and challenges the audience to imagine how it might be different.

To do this we have assembled an inspiring roster of artists, encompassing Unicorn favourites whilst introducing exciting new voices such as Jesse Jones, Rachel Bagshaw, Naomi Wirthner and Lulu Raczka. We are also delighted to be co-producing with some of the most innovative companies working nationally with Slung Low, New Perspectives and How It Ended, as well as welcoming the newly recognised Theatre of Sanctuary, Phosphoros Theatre, into the building as our first Associate Company.  Lastly, we are very excited to announce that our co-production with Untitled Projects, The End of Eddy, is transferring internationally, and signifies our continued ambitions for the future of our touring work.

In recent months, young people have left their schools to protest, to have their voices heard, to let us know how we’ve failed them.  This year, we will be speaking directly to our young audiences – about the Climate Emergency, about their access to the arts and about how we can serve them better. It’s absolutely vital for the Unicorn to defend children’s right to a creative and fulfilling life. So in response to the brutal cuts being imposed on schools, we are maintaining our £10 tickets for the non-fee paying sector for the eighth consecutive year, subsidising more school trips than ever before, and launching a major new community programme – REACH – that will work creatively with some of the hardest to reach children in our society’

The season celebrates brilliance, originality and spirit as the Unicorn continues to work with artists who push the boundaries of theatrical form – and at its heart is a commitment to inspiring a generation of theatregoers. Twelve productions will comprise an eclectic and potent mix of extraordinary and irreverent visions alongside a programme of events and workshops.

Opening the season with a one-off family event is a co-production with maverick theatre-makers Slung Low, 15 Minutes Live, a bold experiment with seven writers making six new radio plays about the future; for Black History Month and drawn fromAfrican-Caribbean folklore, Justin creates and directs a show about the ultimate mischief-maker, Anansi the Spider; and returning to the Unicorn, writer Jemma Kennedy adapts the world premiere of Maggot Moon, Sally Gardner’s dystopian drama, in a major staging by Jesse Jones of this award-winning novel.

For Christmas, once again the Unicorn opens all three spaces for the festive season. In the Weston Theatre, Anthony Weigh’s dazzling new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost is brought to thrilling theatrical life for all the family with live magic and special effects. Alongside side this in the Clore Theatre is The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse – a co-production with New Perspectives based on the cult picture-book by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. In the Foyle Studio, we see the return of Scrunch bySarah Argent and Kevin Lewis – a show for the very youngest audiences.

Highlights also include work from Rachel Bagshaw, who joins the company as an Associate Director, directing Germany’s Roland Schimmelpfennig’s surreal and poetic The Bee in Me; and following his acclaimed work at the venue, Tim Crouch returns with the London premiere of his one-man show I, Cinna (the poet). Rising star Lulu Raczka reframes arguably the greatest satire of all time,Gulliver’s Travels, in an exhilarating exploration by director and filmmaker, Sam Yates.

The Unicorn is also delighted to announce that Phosphoros Theatre are to become the Unicorn’s first ever Associate Company. Phosphoros Theatre was founded in 2015 and every one of its actors came to the UK as Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children and Refugees.  In residence at the Unicorn, the partnership is the start of a major new Unicorn programme with some of London’s hardest to reach and most vulnerable communities. The Phosphoros Young Company at the Unicorn will offer unaccompanied girls and boys, aged 14-18, the chance to use drama to help navigate their place in a new community, and to learn from older peers from the refugee community who were once in their shoes.

The Unicorn Theatre will also be taking even more work out of the building with projects in Great Ormond Street Hospital and beyond, as part of the Unicorn’s strategy to reach audiences who wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience our shows at the venue.  Further afield, The End of Eddy (shortlisted for two Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland awards) transfers to BAM in New York in November 2019 and will announce further international dates soon.

Under Audibert’s artistic leadership, the Unicorn will continue to position itself as one of the country’s most enquiring venues for young audiences, creating constantly surprising and provocative theatre, but also asking questions about the world we live in. As part of this discussion with its audiences, and in particular its response to the Climate Emergency, the Unicorn will be speaking directly to young people – the strongest and most urgent voices today – about the global climate crisis. Throughout the year, the theatre will engage in critical conversations online, in person and through forum and debate.



First LOOK: DIDO rehearsals at the Unicorn

Casting Announced on The End of Eddy

The End of Eddy
The End of Eddy

The End of Eddy

‘My crime wasn’t doing something. My crime was being something. Being different in a way everyone else could see.’

Stewart Laing directs Alex Austin and Kwaku Mills in The End of Eddy, Pamela Carter’s powerful new work, based on Édouard Louis’s best-selling book, in this co-production between the Unicorn Theatre and Untitled Projects.

 The End of Eddy will open as part of the Edinburgh International Festival prior to a run in London at the Unicorn.  It will also tour the UK and Ireland with dates to be announced shortly.

Born into brutal poverty, in the cultural wilderness of post-industrial rural France, a boy grows up amongst hard men and women living hard and violent lives. Bullied relentlessly for being gay, this is the story of Eddy’s struggle to understand who he is, who he might become, and of his fight to escape.

Written when he was just 21 and combining vivid and urgent storytelling with frank reflections on sexuality, poverty and prejudice. Édouard Louis’ acclaimed novel was first published in 2014 and is both unflinchingly honest and darkly entertaining.  This new and boldly theatrical stage adaptation is a joint Unicorn Theatre and Untitled Projects commission and reunites visionary director Stewart Laing and his long-term collaborator, writer Pamela Carter, who have worked together since 2005.

Stewart Laing is a Scottish theatre director. He is Associate Director with National Theatre of Scotland and is Artistic Director of his own company, Untitled Projects, which he formed in 1998.  Directing credits with Untitled Projects include J.G. Ballard Project,blind_sightSlopeAn Argument About Sex, The Salon ProjectPaul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner and Slope Redux. Other credits include The Maids for Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Ten Plagues for Traverse Theatre, Titus Andronicus for Dundee Rep, The Sewing Group for Royal Court, and most recently, Creditors for Lyceum in Edinburgh. Stewart is currently directing David Sawer’s new opera The Skating Rink for Garsington Opera. Stewart originally trained as a theatre designer at Central School of Art and Design in London and has worked extensively as a theatre designer throughout the UK and internationally. He has designed for the West End and Broadway, winning a Tony Award in 1997 for his work on the musical Titanic. Recent design credits include work for The Old Vic in London, The Park Avenue Armory in New York and The Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

Pamela Carter is a playwright and dramaturg. Her plays include Lines (The Yard Theatre, London); Fast Ganz Nah/Almost Near(Theater Dresden, Germany); Skåne (Hamptead Theatre; winner of the New Writing Commission at the Berliner Festspiele Stückemarkt in 2012); What We Know (Traverse Theatre); Wildlife (Magnetic North Theatre Co); The Last of Us (Play, Pie & a Pint). Her plays for Untitled Projects include Slope (2006 and 2014); Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner, 2013; and An Argument About Sex (After Marivaux) in 2009.   As dramaturg and writer with Vanishing Point Theatre, she has made the award-winning Interiors (touring internationally since 2009), Saturday Night, and Tomorrow.

Pamela also works in opera, film, dance and visual arts.  Since 2014, she has been a visiting lecturer on the Masters in Interior Design at Glasgow School of Art.

Alex Austin’s credits include, for the Unicorn Henry VThe NutcrackerHow to Think the UnthinkableThe Man with the Incredibly Smelly Foot. Other credits include most recently A New And Better You (The Yard), GundogGrimly HandsomePrimetime 2017,YenPigeons (Royal Court), Thebes Land (Arcola); Fury (Soho); Barbarians (Young Vic) and The Skriker (Royal Exchange, Manchester).  Television includes The InterceptorSherlockNew TricksMisfits and Holby City.  Film includes A Moving Image,The Hooligan Factory and The World’s End.

 Kwaku Mills has recently graduated from the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts.  Credits whilst training include; Raleigh inJourney’s End, Ward in Women Beware Women, Benjamin in Easter and Colin Powell in Stuff Happens.  He will be making his professional debut in The End of Eddy.

Age guide: 16+ (contains explicit sexual references and frequent use of strong language)

Duration: Approx 1 hr 30 mins


 Preview performance at the Unicorn Theatre on Friday 17 August 2018

 Tuesday 21 August to Sunday 26 August 2018

Edinburgh International Festival
Box Office: +44 (0)131 473 2000

Thursday 13 September – Saturday 6 October 2018

Unicorn Theatre

Box Office: 020 7645 0560

Unicorn Announces Purni Morell’s last season for Autumn and Beyond

Purni Morell

Purni Morell © Giulia Savorelli

  • 16 productions with international partnerships from France, Belgium and the Netherlands
  • Stewart Laing directs The End of Eddy ; the stage adaptation of Édouard Louis’s internationally acclaimed autobiography for ages 16 and up, premiering at the Edinburgh International Festival
  • Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales directed by Kirsty Housley for Christmas ‘18
  • Purni Morell directs Purcell’s Dido in a co-production with English National Opera
  • Eight new play commissions based on Aesop’s Fables
  • The Velveteen Rabbit plays a nine week Christmas run at Seattle Children’s Theatre
  • The UK premiere of Lies Pauwels’ Truth or Dare, Britney or Goofy, Nacht und Nebel, Jesus Christ or Superstar in  a co-commission with Belgium’s leading theatre for young people, Hetpaleis (The Hamilton Complex)

The Unicorn announced plans for Autumn and beyond in another bold and eclectic season of work at the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences.

Highlights include: the stage adaptation of Édouard Louis’s international bestseller The End of Eddy, about a young man growing up gay in a working class French town; Philip Wilson’s acclaimed adaptation of Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales for Christmas; an iconoclastic new commission with Het Paleis (Antwerp) by Lies Pauwels; two new productions based on Aesop’s Fables; and an opera with former Artistic Director Purni Morell directing Dido in a co-production with English National Opera.


A Unicorn / Untitled Projects production


Based on the book En Finir avec Eddy Belleguele by Édouard Louis, adapted by Pamela Carter

Directed by Stewart Laing

Thursday 13 September – Saturday 6 October 2018



Visionary Scottish Director Stewart Laing (Creditors, Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner) directs The End of Eddy, a remarkable new work based on the Édouard Louis’s best-selling autobiography.

The production will open as part of the Edinburgh International Festival prior to a run at the Unicorn and will then tour the UK with dates to be announced shortly.

Born into poverty in an isolated village in rural France, a boy grows up amongst hard men and women living hard and violent lives. Bullied relentlessly for being gay, this is the story of Eddy’s struggle to understand who he is, who he might become, and of his fight to escape.

Written when he was just 21 and combining vivid storytelling with frank reflections on sexuality, class and power, this new stage adaptation of Édouard Louis’s autobiographical novel is filled with hope, love, lust and anger.

Full casting and tour details to be announced shortly.

Age guide: 16+  (contains explicit sexual references and frequent use of strong language)

Duration: Approx 1 hr 30 mins

En Finir avec Eddy Belleguele
Copyright © 2014, Édouard Louis.
All rights reserved.
First published by Editions du Seuil in 2014


A Battersea Arts Centre Production


Conceived & created by Polarbear

Dramaturgy by Yael Shavit

Design by Marie Blunck


Tuesday 18 September – Saturday 27 October 2018


Polarbear makes things up: stories, jokes, adventures – he’s a master maker-upper. But where did it all begin?

Mouth Open, Story Jump Out is about the moment that started it all, and how one little decision set off a chain reaction that changed his life forever. International assassins, secret codes, dog-eating boa constrictors and more emerge when a father disappears and a boy discovers a talent for telling tales.

An inspiring show about the creative potential inside all of us by one of the UK’s most respected spoken-word artists.

Age guide: 8 – 11 / Duration: 1 hr


A Unicorn Production

Created by Sarah Argent & Kevin Lewis

Directed by Sarah Argent

 Ongoing  from Tuesday 25 September 2018 (various dates throughout the year, see website)


The Unicorn continues to provide theatre for the very youngest audiences with the return of the sell-out Baby Show.

Baby Show gently explores the fun to be had in getting ready to go outside. Following the success of Scrunch and SeesawBaby Show (back for a third run with dates throughout the year) is a musical and sensory performance with captivating images and intriguing sounds that keeps eager, curious young minds rapt.

Age guide: strictly 6 – 18 months / Duration: 40 mins (incl. 15 mins of  play at the end)


 A Hetpaleis and Sontag Production (Ghent) with the Unicorn, Festival Tweetakt (Utrecht) and Het Nationale Theater (The Hague)


Concept and direction by Lies Pauwels

 Friday 19 October– Sunday 21 October 2018


 The Unicorn collaborates again with the makers of The Hamilton Complex, co-commissioning their new work Truth or Dare in a UK première direct from Antwerp.

Lies Pauwels brings together seven young adults who all have emotional or psychological vulnerabilities, three super-models and one priest. Together, we explore the demons we wrestle with, as individuals and as a world.

Pauwels’ work is challenging, perceptive and authentic. In this piece, she pushes the boundaries of truth just that little bit further, creating a world in which nothing is obvious, yet everything is recognisable.

Age guide: 16 – adult / Duration: Approx 1 hr 50 mins


A Laika (Belgium) Production


Created and directed by Michai Geyzen

Tuesday 23 October – Sunday 28 October 2018


Some people feel at home wherever they are. Others spend their whole life looking, wandering, longing for a place to put down roots and call ‘home’. But what exactly makes a home, what does it mean?

On The Road is a wordless story told using sound, dance and movement to explore what it feels like to be a refugee and the universal need we have to belong.

Age guide: 6 – 12 / Duration: 50 mins


A Unicorn Production


Adapted for the stage by Philip Wilson

Directed by Kirsty Housley

 Tuesday 13 November 2018 – Sunday 6 January 2019



Kirsty Housley (Complicite Associate, co-director The Encounter, director The Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer) directs a delicious selection of Philip Pullman’s favourite fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, in an acclaimed adaptation by Philip Wilson, re-told and re-worked for Christmas.

Enter a world of powerful witches, enchanted forest creatures, careless parents and fearless children as they embark on adventures full of magic, gore, friendship, and bravery.

But beware, because like the world, these gleefully dark and much-loved tales won’t be quite what you expect…

Age guide: 8 – adult / Duration: Approx 2 hrs 10 mins


A Unicorn Production in association with Filskit Theatre


By Filskit Theatre

 Tuesday 13 November 2018 – Sunday 6 January 2019



During the long, cold winter, Mr Penguin carefully guards his egg. Now this new dad needs to look after his newly born chick on his own and he’s not feeling confident. How will father and baby work it out together?

A gorgeous, engaging and highly visual new Unicorn commission by Filskit Theatre, the makers of Breaking the Ice (2015), whose signature style features playful and innovative projection and sound.

This is a heart-warming tale about a child and parent learning how to thrive in spite of the odds.

Age guide: 2 – 5 / Duration: Approx 50 mins


 Originally commissioned by Discover Children’s Story Centre


Directed by Toby Hulse

Designed by A Line Art

 Saturday 15 December – Thursday 27 December 2018


A Christmas alternative from A Line Art with their unique brand of interactive arts and musical theatre for the whole family.

Take a seat at our make-believe Christmas restaurant, choose your ‘food’ and colour it in. And while you’re decorating your plate with cranberry red paint, salt and pepper glitter and bread sauce glue, the restaurant’s waiting-staff will entertain you with comedy, music and storytelling.

Age guide: 3+ (for all the family) / Duration: 55 mins


 A Unicorn production
By Margery Williams
Directed by Purni Morell

 1 Nov to 30 Dec 2018 at Seattle Children’s Theatre

 Real isn’t how you are made. It’s a thing that happens to you.

 Following a Broadway transfer, one of the Unicorn’s most popular hits, The Velveteen Rabbit will play at the Seattle’s Children’s Theatre over Christmas 2018.

The Velveteen Rabbit is 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 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…

The production was one of the venue’s most acclaimed hits in recent years, playing several sold-out runs.

Directed and adapted by Purni Morell and featuring Christian Roe as the Rabbit.


 A Unicorn Production


By Katrin Lange
Translated by Purni Morell

Directed by Cressida Brown

Saturday 26 January – Sunday 10 March 2019



A new take on the classic myth from Germany’s Kathrin Lange in a translation by Purni Morell and directed by Cressida Brown (Artistic Director, Offstage Theatre).

Here, where pleasant cottages stand colourful in the friendly village and a gentle breeze wafts through the air, children play in the square laughing and shouting – but Icarus, oldest son of the builder Daedalus, does not play with them. He sits looking out over the sea and thinks about his father.

 The country that the Mother and the Brothers and Sisters live in has fallen off the edge of the world – while across the sea King Minos builds his kingdom. What can one boy do against injustice? Will he save his father? Will he save himself?

Age guide: 8 – 12 / Duration: Approx 1 hr 15 mins


 A Unicorn Production in association with Reckless Sleepers


 By Reckless Sleepers

Saturday 2 February – Sunday 10 March 2019



A new work for the Unicorn by doyens of European performance Reckless Sleepers, whose work sits somewhere between visual art, dance and theatre.

This surreal, funny and carefully crafted physical performance explores the weather in all its forms and takes delight in discovering the world anew and how we experience it differently, wherever we are.

Why is it that sometimes I’m hot but you’re cold? Why are there puddles and sometimes not? How can it be sunny and rainy all at once and also not at all? And if it’s summer here, why is it winter there?

Age guide: 2 – 5 / Duration: Approx 50 mins


 A Unicorn / Theater Artemis (the Netherlands) Production


Created and directed by Jetse Batelaan

Originally devised with cast members Martin Hofstra and René Geerlings

 Thursday 21 March – Sunday 28 April 2019



Originally created in the Netherlands, this carefully crafted, absurdist masterpiece of hope, humour and failure by Jetse Batalaan is remounted with the Unicorn featuring a UK cast.

Welcome to the most boring show in history: an actor who never gets to perform and a security guard who just hopes nothing will occur.

Age guide: 6 – 10 / Duration: Approx 1 hr


A Unicorn Production in association with The Polar Bears


By Eilidh MacAskill & Fiona Manson

 Tuesday 26 March – Sunday 28 April 2019



Join the two very loveable but slightly hapless Polar Bears on their holiday adventures. Will they ever reach their destination? Or are they just going around in circles?

Have your ticket ready, find your seat, fasten your seatbelt and anchors aweigh – take off and go, go, go!

The much-loved Polar Bears return following two hit shows at the Unicorn. The pair creates smart, sharply observed comic performances for younger audiences.

Age guide: 2 – 5 / Duration: Approx 50 mins


 A Unicorn / English National Opera Production


Directed by Purni Morell

Conducted by Valentina Peleggi

Saturday 11 May – Sunday 2 June 2019



English National Opera and the Unicorn join forces for the very first time to create a new production of Purcell’s powerful and emotional masterpiece, Dido and Aeneas, for teenagers and adults.

Belinda is the only child of Dido. A teenager like any other, in any big city. We watch through her eyes as her mother – heroine, feminist icon, modern parent – slowly starts to fall apart, with tragic consequences.

Directed by the Unicorn’s former Artistic Director Purni Morell and conducted by ENO’s Valentina Peleggi, this contemporary production will be an incredible first experience for some, and for others a chance to see a familiar and much-loved opera in a new light.

Age guide: 11 – adult / Duration: Approx 1 hr 15 mins

Sung in English


 A Unicorn Production


Directed by Justin Audibert

Sunday 16 June – Sunday 4th August 2019



Incoming Unicorn Artistic Director Justin Audibert directs a series of eight newly commissioned plays based on the classic tales.  They will play in repertory to two age groups.  Commissioned writers include Chris Thorpe; Somalia Seaton; Kaite O’Reilly; Naomi Iizuka; Chris Goode; Kim Noble; E V Crowe.

As far as it is known, Aesop was a slave and storyteller who lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BC.  But although little is known of the man himself, over 725 of his stories remain – passed down from generation to generation.

The Unicorn will be presenting two productions of these enduring stories; one for ages 4-7 and one for ages 8-12.

Accompanied by events and workshops, this is a celebration of young and old, ancient and new – a tribute to how fresh, bold and vibrant the classics remain today.

Age guide: 4 – 7 and 8 – 12 / Duration: Approx 1 hr


Unicorn Theatre 147 Tooley Street, London SE1 2HZ

Box Office: 020 7645 0560

Twitter: @unicorn_theatre


for images please go to password is: download

Also images can be found here




Under 18s: £8 – £12 / Adults: £12 – £20 (concs: £3 off)

(weekday evenings  Under 18s: £8 – £12 / Adults: £14 – £20)



Under 18s: £10 – £12 / Adults: £16 – £18 (concs: £3 off)

(Sat early afternoons Under 18s: £12 /adults £18)


Combined ticket for 1 child plus 1 adult: £10 / £12 (for 11.15am / 11.45am perfs)

Additional adult places: £5


Under 18s: £8 – £12 / Adults: £14 – £20 (concs: £3 off)



Under 18s: £10 – £14 / Adults: £12 – £20 (concs: £3 off)

(Sats and weekend perfs from 1 Dec Under 18s: £14 / Adults: £20)


Under 18s: £12 – £18 / Adults: £16 – £24 (concs: £3 off)

(20 – 24 Dec Under 18s: £14 – £20 / Adults: £20 – £26)


Under 18s: £12 / Adults: £12 (concs: £3 off)


Under 18s: £8 – £12 / Adults: £12 – £18 (concs: £3 off)

(Saturday early afternoons Under 18s: £10 – £14 / Adults: £14 – £20)


Under 18s: £8 – £18 / Adults: £10 – £24 (concs: £3 off)

(weekends Under 18s: £10 – £18 / Adults: £14 – £24)


Relaxed Performances are open to everyone but focus on supporting those on the autism spectrum and those with learning disabilities.


Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales Fri 7 Dec, 11am, / Sat 15 Dec, 6pm / Thu 3 Jan, 4pm

Huddle Fri 7 Dec, 10.30am / Sat 15 Dec, 2.30pm / Thu 3 Jan, 2pm

Icarus Wed 27 Feb, 10.45am / Sat 2 Mar, 5pm

It’s Hot… It’s Not. Thu 28 Feb, 11am / Sat 2 Mar, 2.30pm

The Polar Bears Go, Go, Go! Tue 2 Apr, 2pm / Sat 27 Apr, 2.30pm

Aesop’s Fables Wed 17 Jul, 10.30am & 1.30pm / Sat 20 Jul, 10.30am & 2pm

Pre-Show Tour Tours offer a chance for those with visual impairments to explore the set, costumes and props.

Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales Sun 2 Dec, 2.15pm

Audio Described for those with visual impairments.

Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales Sun 2 Dec, 2.15pm

Deaf Friendly shows are highly visual with little or no language used. We recommend you try Huddle and On The Road.

Live Captioning

Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales Sun 16 Dec, 1pm

Please contact us if your school or group is interested in a Live Captioned performance for this show on another date.

Assistance dogs are welcome – please let the Box Office know in advance.

There is an infra-red Sennheiser system for sound amplification.

There is wheelchair access throughout the building and a wheelchair accessible lift to all floors.

Contact us: [email protected] / 020 7645 0560




Sat 22 Sep 2018 / FREE

Explore our award-winning building for free on our Open House day. Free tours take place between 11am – 4pm, with a special tour led by architect Keith Williams at 12pm.

For information about other festivals and events visit

BOOK SWAP Sat 9 Feb, 12 – 5pm / FREE

We are taking part in the Discovery Centre London Children’s Book Swap. Bring an old book and pick up a different book to take home for free!

For information about other festivals and events visit


Join the Unicorn Play Club (UP CLUB) for free creative sessions and games most Saturdays from 12 – 2pm. Check the website for activities, dates and details. Follow us on Twitter at @Unicorn_UpClub for offers, crafts and updates.


Take part in show-themed Up Club+ events and workshops. Places can be booked online along with your show tickets. Visit the website for more information.

Various dates, tickets usually £10


We offer free CPD sessions, resources and in-school workshops for school-focused productions (see show pages for details). For more information, email [email protected].


First Look: Tim Crouch’s Beginners at the Unicorn Theatre


First Look: OTHELLO at Unicorn Theatre

Mental health in millenials is examined in new play at Lion and Unicorn Theatre

Breathe by Lucrezia Pollice
Breathe by Lucrezia Pollice

Breathe by Lucrezia Pollice

New play Breathe, after readings at the Young Vic and scratch night performances at the Bread and Roses, is staged in a full production at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre this February. The play tackles the thorny issue of mental health amongst millenials trying to make their way in life.

“ambitious (…) I look forward to see the (full production)” The Blog of Theatre Things

Breathe pans across the struggles of four housemates living in London trying to successfully accomplish their dreams. Personal secrets, fears and dreams emerge as their lives intertwine, revealing the importance of human connection and friendship in the face of anxiety and depression. Will they choose security or transform their fears into fuel to conquer their dreams?

Writer Lucrezia Pollice is a freelance theatre & film director and producer based in London. After training as an actor at the famous Italian drama school Paolo Grassi Academy and the RADA foundation course at CSVPA, Lucrezia graduated with a First Honours Degree from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education – focusing her degree on Directing, Producing and Playwrighting. She recently produced and directed the critically acclaimed short documentary IDENTITY ,which premiered at the United Nations WTPFilm Festival at the BFI Southbank. She will soon be producing and directing a documentary short film for Westminster Council.

Producer Aretusa Campagnolo worked as an assistant producer for MDA Contemporary Dance Company and as an executive producer for RedWedge Srl, a film production company based in Rome. She moved to the UK to undertake a Master’s degree in Culture, Policy and Management at City University of London, where she graduated in October 2017. Prior to moving into assisting in producing Metal Rabbit Productions in  2017, she interned as a Company Administrator for circus company Gandini Juggling.

Lucrezia Pollice and Aretusa Campagnolo present:
February 1st 2018 –  February 2nd 2018, 7.30pm, The Lion and Unicorn Theatre
Press Night: February 1st 2018, 7.30pm

 Purni Morell to step down as Artistic Director of the Unicorn Theatre

Purni Morell

Purni Morell © Giulia Savorelli

The Board of the Unicorn Theatre announces today that Purni Morell will step down as Artistic Director in Spring 2018 after six and a half years of leading the company.

Purni was appointed in September 2011. The announcement in June 2011 made her the first woman of colour to take the job of Artistic Director amongst the Arts Council’s top funded UK venues.

During her tenure, Morell has fiercely championed the belief that theatre for young people is as valid and as artistically challenging as that of mainstream theatre.  Since 2011, Morell has commissioned and programmed new work from leading UK and international theatre makers, including Timberlake Wertenbaker, Ellen McDougall, Tim Crouch, Nancy Harris, Chris Goode, Ontroerend Goed, Gary Owen, Ramin Gray, David Greig, E V Crowe, Gbolahan Obisesan, Ignace Cornelissen, Gobsquad, Campo and Chris Thorpe.  By May 2018, the theatre will have produced and presented 140 productions to audiences of over 400,000 under her leadership.

 Alongside co-Chief Executive Anneliese Davidsen, Morell’s tenure has seen the Unicorn grow radically in artistic output, and in the variety and number of in-house productions, international collaborations and touring work that have gone on to achieve artistic and commercial success.  With a reputation for diversity, accessibility and connection to the community, the theatre has brought some of the best national and international talent to the Unicorn in the last six years, and the theatre now begins the search for a new Artistic Director to take the theatre forward into its next stage of evolution.

Purni Morell said ‘I am incredibly proud to have been a part of this extraordinary theatre and of what we have been able to do here – it has been rewarding, exciting and challenging in equal measure. I said at the outset that I wanted to stay six years, and now that I am well into my seventh season, I feel it’s time to step down and allow new ideas and new ambitions to flow into the building. I’m indebted to my colleagues at the Unicorn, who work harder and achieve more than I’ve ever known staff at a theatre to do, and I want to thank our many loyal supporters, in particular Arts Council England, for their continued belief in what we stand for. It’s so easy to sell the next generation short and it’s so important not to – so I’m enormously excited to see where the next Artistic Director will take the theatre and to enjoy many more years of watching great shows, this time as a ticket-buyer.

Unicorn Chair John Langley said ‘I want to thank Purni for her remarkable energy and ambition, and for what she has achieved for the status of theatre for young audiences. As an Artistic Director, she has expanded the idea of what a repertoire devised for young people can be; as a producer, dramaturge and translator, she has enlarged the national portfolio; and as a director, she has provided our audiences with shows that have challenged and delighted in equal measure.  The whole Board is immeasurably grateful to her for her commitment and energy over the past six years.’

With Arts Council funding confirmed until 2022, the Unicorn Trustees now begin their search for a new Artistic Director to take the theatre into the next phase of its history.


Purni Morell is the Artistic Director of the Unicorn, the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences. She also works as a freelance director and translator, with work to date produced at the Finborough Theatre, by Speeltheater Holland, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Muziektheater Transparant,‘t Arsenaal and Vlaamse Opera, Gent.

Purni began her career in stage management, working for Stephen Daldry and Annie Castledine, among others, before going to read History at the University of Glasgow. After graduating she worked as Literary Assistant at the National Theatre, London, with particular responsibility for foreign and classic plays, and then became Literary Manager at Berkeley Repertory Theater, California, from 1998-2000.

She took a break from theatre and worked for a while in environmental sustainability and development in Latin America and then at Shelter in Scotland, before becoming a producer, first with Suspect Culture in Glasgow, then running her own production company, gryllus, which provided creative and logistical support to freelance Scottish artists including Colette Sadler and Stewart Laing among others.

She was Head of Studio at the National Theatre, London, from 2007-2011. Her most recent production was Alpha Beta at the Finborough Theatre, nominated in the Off West End Awards for Best Director, Best Actor and Best Design. Her productions for the Unicorn include, as writer:  A Winter’s Tale, Henry V and The Fourth Wise Man, and, as director, A Winter’s TaleDora, The Velveteen Rabbit, Baddies: the Musical and My Father Odysseus. She will be directing Ibsen’s Public Enemy in Flint, Michigan, in June.


The Unicorn is the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences, producing an eclectic and surprising programme of work year-round for children aged 6 months to 18 years. Based in their purpose-built home at London Bridge, they aim to connect artists and audiences through a broad range of work that is honest, refreshing and international in outlook, across a range of disciplines.

The Unicorn presents and tours between twelve to fifteen shows each year, at home and abroad, to around 80,000 children and their parents and carers, and works extensively with schools and in the community to invite children from all cultures into a conversation about art and the world we live in.

Between 2011, when Purni Morell and Anneliese Davidsen joined the theatre as Artistic Director and Executive Director, and April 2018, the Unicorn will have:

–        produced and presented 140 productions

–        reached audiences of over 400,000 in London and on 30 tours

–        given 10% of all tickets away to schools and community groups for free or nearly free, every year

–        built Box Office income by 26%

–        grown audiences by 28%

–        developed 60 co-producing partnerships with other theatre companies

–        commissioned 53 new pieces of work

–        generated 21 awards and award nominations

–        created 133 accessible performances

–        built a growing programme of Community work

–        supported a self-running Young Company of teenage performers.

Morell has brought some of the best national and international talent to the Unicorn.  The following is a comprehensive list of 140 productions at the Unicorn from spring ’12 to summer ’18.


1001 Nights, a Unicorn production, dir. Douglas Rintoul

A Thousand Slimy Things, a Tangere Arts & Royal Exchange Theatre co-production, dir. Lewis Gibson

A Winter’s Tale, by Ignace Cornelissen, dir. Purni Morell

Before Your Very Eyes, by Gobsquad & Campo, in association with LIFT

Burning Bird, by John Donnelly, a Synergy Theatre Project production

Children of Killers, a Unicorn Young Company production

DNA, by Dennis Kelly, a Hull Truck production

Dr Korczak’s Example, a Unicorn production

Egg & Spoon, a Lyngo Theatre production, by Marcello Chiarenza and Patrick Lynch, 2012

Goldilocks, a Little Angel production, dir. Marleen Vermeulen

Handa’s Surprise, a Little Angel production, dir. Marleen Vermeulen 2012

How to Think the Unthinkable, a Unicorn production, by Ryan Craig, dir. Ellen McDougall

How Was it for You, a Unicorn Young Company production, by Evan Placey, dir. Nadia Fall

I, Malvolio, by Tim Crouch, dir. Karl James and a smith

In A Pickle, an Oily Cart/RSC co-production

Liar, Liar, a Unicorn production, by E V Crowe, dir. Blanche McIntyre

Little Red…You Know Who!, a Freehand Theatre production

Mad About the Boy, an Iron Shoes production in association with the Unicorn, by Gbolahan Obisesan, dir. Ria Parry


Monkey Bars, A Chris Goode & Company and Unicorn production, dialogues originated by Karl James, dir. Chris Goode, 2012

Monkey Bars, 2013

Mouth Open Story Jump Out, a BAC production, by Polarbear

Ring Round the World, by EPOC

Ruby Red Tells Tales, a Theatr Iolo production, by Sarah Argent

Sensacional, an Imaginart (Barcelona) production, 2012

Something Very Far Away, a Unicorn production, by Mark Arends and Matthew Robins

Tales from the River Thames, a New International Encounters/Unicorn production

The Elves and the Shoemakers, a Theatre Hullabaloo & Berry Theatre production, by Mike Kenny, dir. Sarah Brigham

The Legend of Captain Crow’s Teeth, a Unicorn production, by Matthew Lenton

The Legend of Woesterdam, a Studio ORKA & Kopergietery production

The Man with the Disturbingly Smelly Foot, a Unicorn production, by Nancy Harris, dir. Ellen McDougall

The Mysterious Vanishment of Pobby and Dingan, a Travelling Light production, by Finegan Kruckmeyer, adapted by Ben Rice

The Present, a BAC production by Ansuman Biswas and Hannah Ringham

The Prince and the Pauper, a Unicorn production, by Jemma Kennedy, dir. Selina Cartmel

The Tear Thief, a Little Angel production in association with the Royal Exchange Theatre, by Carol Ann Duffy, dir. Peter Glanville



1001 Nights, a Unicorn production, dir. Douglas Rintoul, 2014

All That Is Wrong, Ontroerend Goed, Laika, Drum Theatre Plymouth & Richard Jordan Productions Ltd, by Koba Ryckewaert, Joeri Smet, Rob Van Ertvelde, Sophie De Somere, Zach Hatch & Alexander Devriendt

Aston’s Stones, a Teater Pero production, by Peter Engvist

At the End of Everything Else, a Unicorn production, by Mark Arends

Cape, a Synergy/Unicorn co-production, by Inua Ellams, dir. Esther Baker

Carnival, a Unicorn/Compagnia Rodisio co-production, by Manuela Capece and Davide Doro

Chalk About, a Curious Seed production, by Christine Davaney and Leandro Kees

Cinderella: A Fairytale, a Unicorn/Travelling Light/Tobacco Factory Theatre co-production, dir. Sally Cookson

Cuckoo, a Unicorn production, by Suhayla El-Bushra, dir. Nathan Curry

Dora, a Unicorn production, adapted from Helen East, dir. Purni Morell

Grandpa’s Railway, an M6 Theatre Company production

Hannah, a Unicorn production, by Chris Thorpe, dir. Simon Evans

Henry the Fifth, a Unicorn production, by Ignace Cornelissen, dir. Ellen McDougall

Lionboy, a Complicite co-production with Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Oxford Playhouse and Warwick Arts Centre, by Annabel Arden and Louisa Young, dir. Annabel Arden

Luna, a Theatre Hullabaloo/Theatr Iolo production, by Miranda Thain, dir. Sarah Argent

Mister Holgado, a Unicorn production, by Christopher William Hill, dir. Matthew Lenton

My Father and Other Superheroes, a Nick Makoha production in association with Nimble Fish, by Nick Makoha, dir. Benji Reid


Next Day, presented by LIFT and the Unicorn, by Philippe Quesne and CAMPO

Nosferatu, a Bob Théâtre production

Not Now, Bernard, a Unicorn production, by David McKee, dir. Ellen McDougall

O Snap, by Erik Kaiel

Othello: The Remix, presented by Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Richard Jordan Productions, by GQ & JQ with Rick Boynton

Pim & Theo, a New International Encounter production with Odsherred Teater & Korjaamo Culture Factory, dir. Alex Byrne

Romeo and Juliet, a Box Clever production, adapted by Michael Wicherek with OneNess, dir. Iqbal Khan

Sensacional, an Imaginart/Unicorn co-production, 2013

Sensacional, an Imaginart/Unicorn co-production, 2014

Something Very Far Away, a Unicorn production, by Mark Arends and Matthew Robins, 2013

Teenage Riot, an Ontroerend Goed, Kopergietery, Drum Theatre Plymouth & Richard Jordan Productions Ltd production, dir. Alexander Devriendt

The Pardoner’s Tale, a Tangere/Unicorn co-production

The Secret Of Q, a Het Filiaal production, by Ramses Graus & Monique Corvers, dir. Monique Corvers

The Summer Book, a Unicorn production, adapted by Jemma Kennedy, dir. Douglas Rintoul

The Velveteen Rabbit, a Unicorn production, by Margery Williams, dir. Purni Morell

Tube, an Oily Cart production, by Tim Webb

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas… , a Unicorn production, by Douglas Rintoul

Wanted: Rabbit, a Maas Theater & Dans production, dir. René Geerlings

We Dance, Wee Groove, a stillmotion production in association with the Unicorn

You’re Not My Friend Anymore, a Shoofly Theatre production, by Katie Sykes & Craig Edwards



50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do), a Unicorn/Fundus Theater/Research Theatre Hamburg production, by Hanno Krieg and Sibylle Peters

Britain’s Best Recruiting Sergeant, a Unicorn production, by Joy Wilkinson, dir. Lee Lyford

Fight Night, an Ontroerend Goed, Border Project, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Richard Jordan Productions & Voornuit in association with Adelaide Festival of the Arts production, dir. Alexander Devriendt

Girls Like That, a Unicorn/Synergy Theatre Project production, by Evan Placey, dir. Esther Baker

Henry the Fifth, a Unicorn production, by Ignace Cornelissen, dir. Ellen McDougall, 2015

How Nigeria Became: A Story, and a Spear that Didn’t Work, a Unicorn production written and directed by Gbolahan Obisesan

Nosferatu, a Bob Théâtre production, 2014

One Little Word, an M6 Theatre Company production, dir. Andy Manley

Planeta KA, an Imaginart/Unicorn production

Seesaw, a Unicorn production, by Stewart Melton, dir. Sarah Argent

Scrunch, a Unicorn Theatre & Theatr Iolo (in association with Sarah Argent), by Sarah Argent & Kevin Lewis

Something Very Far Away, a Unicorn production, by Mark Arends and Matthew Robins, 2014

Tales from the MP3, a 20 Stories High production, dir. Julia Samuels

The Caucasian Chalk Circle, a Unicorn production, by Bertolt Brecht, trans. Frank McGuinness, dir. Amy Leach

The Chair, a Unicorn production, by Lewis Gibson, dir. Lewis Gibson

The Fourth Wise Man, a Unicorn production, dir. Lee Lyford

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, a Unicorn production, by Annie Siddons, dir. Ellen McDougall

The Polar Bears Go Wild, a Macrobert/Fish & Game production in association with the Unicorn, by Eilidh MacAskill & Fiona Manson

The Secret Life of Suitcases, an Ailie Cohen Puppet Maker/Unicorn production, by Lewis Hetherington & Ailie Cohen

The Velveteen Rabbit, a Unicorn production, by Margery Williams, dir. Purni Morell, 2015

Triple Bill, presented by Dance Umbrella & the Unicorn

When I Think About the Universe I Laugh for no Reason, a Unicorn Young Company production, dir. Ellen Edwin-Scott & Emma Higham



A Mano, an El Patio Teatro (Spain) production, by Julián Sáenz-López & Izaskum Fernández

Baddies: the Musical, a Unicorn production, by Nancy Harris & Marc Teitler, dir. Purni Morell

Breaking the Ice, a Unicorn/Filskit Theatre Company

Dance Umbrella: Unplugged, presented by the Unicorn & Dance Umbrella

Grass, a Second Hand Dance production in association with the Unicorn

Jeramee, Hartleby & Oooglemore, a Unicorn production, by Gary Owen, dir. Tim Crouch

The Hamilton Complex, presented by LIFT and the Unicorn, by HetPaleis, dir. Lies Pauwels

Martyr, a Unicorn/Actors Touring Company production, by Marius von Mayenburg, trans. Maja Zade, dir. Ramin Gray

Minotaur, a Unicorn production, by Adam Peck, dir. Tarek Iskander

My Father, Odysseus, a Unicorn production, by Timberlake Wertenbaker, dir. Purni Morell

Once Upon A Christmas, a Unicorn event

The Polar Bears Go Up, a Unicorn/Fish & Game production, by Eilidh MacAskill & Fiona Manson

Raw, a Kabinet K (Belgium) production, by Joke Laureyns & Kwint Manshoven with Thomas Devos

Sensacional, an Imaginart/Unicorn co-production, 2015

Septimus Bean and His Amazing Machine, a Unicorn production, by Adam Peck, dir. Cressida Brown

The Snow Child, a Unicorn/Sheffield Theatres/Dancing Brick production, by Valentina Ceschi & Thomas Eccleshare

The Velveteen Rabbit, a Unicorn production, by Margery Williams, dir. Purni Morell, New York tour

The Velveteen Rabbit, a Unicorn production, by Margery Williams, dir. Purni Morell, Spain tour



Adler & Gibb, a Tim Crouch & the Royal Court Theatre production, by Tim Crouch, dir. Tim Crouch, Andy Smith & Karl James

Baby Show, a Unicorn production in association with Theatr Iolo, by Sarah Argent & Kevin Lewis, dir. Sarah Argent

Baddies: the Musical, a Unicorn production, by Nancy Harris & Marc Teitler, dir. Purni Morell, 2016

Boing!, a Travelling Light & Bristol Old Vic production, dir. Sally Cookson, chor. Wilkie Branson & Joêl Daniel

Double Double Act, a Unicorn production in association with Made in China, by Jessica Latowicki, Christopher Brett Bailey & Tim Cowbury

Dream City, an Arch * Dancers production, presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with the Unicorn

The Duke, a Hoipolloi, PBJ Management & Theatre Royal Plymouth production in association with Save the Children, by Shôn Dale-Jones

The Hunting Lodge, a Unicorn production, by Ignace Cornelissen, dir. Purni Morell

The Iron Man, a Unicorn production, by Ted Hughes, created by Matthew Robins

Jason & the Argonauts, a Unicorn production, by Valentina Ceschi & Thomas Eccleshare

Jeramee, Hartleby & Oooglemore, a Unicorn production, by Gary Owen, dir. Tim Crouch, 2017

The Man Who Knows It All, a Theater Artemis/Maas Theater co-production, by Jetse Batelaan

My Mother, Medea, a Unicorn production, by Holger Schober, trans. David Tushingham, dir. Justin Audibert

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, a Unicorn production, by Jill Tomlinson, dir. Lee Lyford

Sensacional, an Imaginart/Unicorn co-production, 2016

The Snow Child, a Unicorn/Sheffield Theatres/Dancing Brick production, by Valentina Ceschi & Thomas Eccleshare, Sheffield 2016

Tetris, a De Dansers production, presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with the Unicorn

The Velveteen Rabbit, a Unicorn production, by Margery Williams, dir. Purni Morell, 2016

Until You Hear That Bell, a Battersea Arts Centre production, by Sean Mahoney, dir. Yael Shavit



Baby Show, a Unicorn production in association with Theatr Iolo, by Sarah Argent & Kevin Lewis, dir. Sarah Argent 2017

Beginners, a Unicorn production, written & dir. by Tim Crouch

Beowulf, a Unicorn production, by Chris Thorpe, dir. Justin Audibert

Boing!, a Travelling Light & Bristol Old Vic production, dir. Sally Cookson, chor. Wilkie Branson & Joêl Daniel

Five Easy Pieces, a CAMPO/IIPM production, by Milo Rau

Laika, a Unicorn production, by Bryony Hannah & Avye Leventis

Othello, a Unicorn production, by Ignace Cornelissen, dir. Ian Nicholson

Seesaw, a Unicorn production, by Stewart Melton, dir. Sarah Argent, 2018

Sensacional, an Imaginart/Unicorn co-production, 2017

The Velveteen Rabbit, a Unicorn production, by Margery Williams, dir. Purni Morell, 2017

Wild Life FM, a CAMPO Arts Centre (Ghent), Unicorn Theatre, Norfolk & Norwich Festival production, by Pol Heyvaert, Kim Noble & cast, dir. Pol Heyvaert, music dir. Jakob Ampe






Bryony Hannah and Ayve Leventis present sci-fi adventure Laika at the Unicorn



A Unicorn Production


By Bryony Hannah and Avye Leventis

Designed by Verity Quinn

Composer is Adam Pleeth with Sound Design by Alma Kelliher and Lighting by Marty Langthorne

Sunday 24 September – Sunday 12 November 2017



Laika is a new Unicorn sci-fi adventure, created by performers Bryony Hannah and Ayve Leventis, using puppetry, music and movement, about a young boy, his astronaut Mum and Laika, the space dog.

Laika, the first living creature to orbit earth, took part in the Soviet space programme. That was in 1957. Today it’s 2057, and Sami lives with his mum, an astronaut who thinks there could be a future out in space. But Sami’s doesn’t understand why she has to leave as his life is on planet earth.

Written and directed by renowned theatre-makers Bryony Hannah and Avye Leventis, Laika is the first show they have made together. This richly inventive and subtly complex space odyssey, created for ages 6 – 12-year-olds, gently examines what lies at the heart of our lives – is it desire for adventure and the unknown or are we happier when we can have those closest and most familiar around us.

The cast includes Nima Taleghani as Sami, Anna Martine as Val and Josie Daxter as Laika.

Bryony Hannah is an award-winning actress from stage and screen. Her many theatre credits include Blurred Lines(National Theatre), The Children’s Hour, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award, Earthquakes in London(Headlong/NT), Irregular Breathing (The Gate), The Winter’s Tale (Headlong) and War Horse (NT).  Her television credits include playing series regular, Cynthia Miller in Call the Midwife (series 1-6) BBC, Unforgotten (BBC), Dead Boss and Life’s Too Short.

Avye Leventis is an actor, puppeteer and movement artist.  Her previous work at the Unicorn includes The Iron ManSomething Very Far Away and At The End of Everything Else.  Her most recent stage credits include Venus and Adonis(RSC), The Elephantum (National Theatre), Brief Encounter (Kneehigh), A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings(Kneehigh/Little Angel).  Film credits include GravityFantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemJungle Book and Stephen Spielberg’s soon to be released Ready Player One.

Age guide:  6 – 12 / Duration: Approx 1 hr


Unicorn Theatre 147 Tooley Street London SE1 2HZ
Box Office: 020 7645 0560

Twitter: @unicorn_theatre

Under 18s £10 – £12 / Adults £10 – 18 (includes Preview Prices)


Relaxed Performances are open to everyone but focus on supporting those on the autism spectrum and those with learning disabilities. Wed 18 Oct, 10.30am / Sun 5 Nov, 2pm

Pre-Show Touch Tours offer a chance for those with visual impairments to explore the set, costumes and props.  Wed 1 Nov, 10.30am / Sat 4 Nov, 11am