Three new shows have been announced as Christmas at the Unicorn continues – the theatre’s hugely successful tradition of producing thrilling, imaginative and visual theatre for all the family.
This festive season features three shows across the three spaces for all ages. In the Weston a new staging of Anthony Weigh’s dazzling new version of Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost, brought to thrilling theatrical life for all the family with live magic and special effects. Alongside this in the Clore theatre is the ridiculously funny The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse – a co-production with Nottingham-based New Perspectives – based on the cult picture-book by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. In the Foyle Studio, hit show Scrunch by Sarah Argent and Kevin Lewis returns for the very youngest audience members aged 6 – 18 months.
A Unicorn Production
OSCAR WILDE’S THE CANTERVILLE GHOST – Sunday 10 November 2019 – Sunday 5 January 2020
Adapted by Anthony Weigh
Directed by Justin Audibert
Justin Audibert directs Anthony Weigh’s new version of Oscar Wilde’s comic novella, The Canterville Ghost – in a riotously spooky production for all the family, using magic and spectacular illusion to bring this classic and much-loved ghost story to life.
Mr and Mrs Otis and their precocious children arrive from America and move into Canterville Chase – a rather old, rather creepy Gothic mansion. Of course, like all the best old mansions, the Chase comes with its own ghost, the rather tired and tormented Sir Simon Canterville.
The spectral knight does his best to spook the trespassers from his ancestral home, but his ghostly machinations hold no fear for this rational modern family.
Sir Simon succumbs to utter despair until he meets young Virginia Otis, who sees him for who he really is…
The full cast is Nana Amoo-Gottfried (Mr Hiram Otis), Rose-Marie Christian (Stripes), Beth Cordingly (Mrs Lucretia Otis), Annie Fitzmaurice (Mrs Umney), Safiyya Ingar (Virginia Otis), Mae Munuo (Stars) and Paul McEwan (Sir Simon Canterville).
Australian born, Anthony Weigh’s writing credits include Welcome Home, Captain Fox (Donmar Warehouse), Yerma (Gate Theatre), The Flooded Grave (Bush Theatre for the Latitude Festival), Like a Fishbone and 2000 Feet Away at the Bush Theatre, where he is an Associate Playwright. Other works include Broad Street, or, How do I strike you? (University of Birmingham 20/20 season 2010), (I’m in) Brooklyn, (not Dagenham Parkway) (Miniaturists 27, London). Anthony was Playwright in Residence at the National Theatre in 2009.
Justin Audibert is the Artistic Director of the Unicorn Theatre. His credits for the Unicorn are most recently Anansi the Spider, Aesops’s Fables, Beowulf and My Mother Medea Other directing credits include The Taming of the Shew (RSC); The Box of Delights (Wilton’s Music Hall); Jumper Factory (Young Vic Prison Project); The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth (National Theatre Learning); The Cardinal (Southwark Playhouse, Snow in Midsummer(RSC); How Not to Live in Suburbia (Soho Festival); The Man with the Hammer (Theatre Royal Plymouth); Flare Path (Original Theatre Company/Birdsong Productions/UK Tour); The Jew of Malta (RSC, A Season in the Congo, Parallel Project (Young Vic); Wrong’un (Red Ladder); Gruesome Playground Injuries (Gate Theatre).
In 2016 Justin wrote and presented two BBC Live Lessons on Shakespeare. He was 2011 Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio, and was the 2012 recipient of the Leverhulme Award for Emerging Directors. He currently sits on the advisory panels for the RSC and Children’s Theatre Partnership.
Age guidance: A festive family show for everyone aged 7 and over
A Unicorn and New Perspectives Production
THE WOLF, THE DUCK AND THE MOUSE – Friday 15 November 2019 – Sunday 5 January 2020
By Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
Adapted and Directed by Jack McNamara
Jack McNamara directs his adaptation of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s brilliantly subversive best-selling picture book, The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse in a co-production with New Perspectives.
One day Mouse is gobbled up by a wolf. ‘Oh Woe says the Mouse, who fears this must be the end. But then we discover Duck who was, until Mouse arrived, taking a nap.
As it turns out, it’s pretty nice living inside the belly of the beast with a new friend. There’s delicious food, dancing and – better still – no more fear of being eaten!
Meanwhile, outside in the forest, things aren’t quite as rosy for the Wolf who is being stalked by a hunter. Realising their fates are intertwined, Duck and Mouse hatch a winning plan…
This delectably dark and hilariously funny fable features Samuel Buttery as The Duck, Varun Raj as The Mouse and Cath Whitefield as The Wolf. Aimed at ages 3-7 years, this wickedly artful show delights in the surreal notion that sometimes friendship can be found in the darkest and most unusual of places – and that being eaten up by a wolf can be quite liberating.
Jack McNamara has been Artistic Director of New Perspectives since September 2012. His credits include Once Upon Our Times (Southbank), trade (National Tour) The Fishermen (Trafalgar Studios/ HOME Manchester) The Boss of It All by Lars von Trier (Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh & Soho Theatre); The Lovesong of Alfred J Hitchcock by David Rudkin (Brits off Broadway, New York & UK tour); Him With His Foot In His Mouth by Saul Bellow and Watching the Living by Jane Upton adapted from two Daphne du Maurier short stories (both UK tours); HOOD (150th Anniversary Commission, Nottingham Theatre Royal) and Darkness Darkness (Nottingham Playhouse co-production), Harvest (regional tour) and Sisyphus (BE Festival, MESS Award Winner).
Productions for children and family audiences include: The Tiger’s Bones and Other Stories (UK tour) and most recently The Giant Jam Sandwich (UK tour & Edinburgh).
This production will open at the Unicorn ahead of a UK tour which travels to Oxford, Staffordshire, Lincolnshire, Derby with further dates to be announced.
Age guide: 3 – 7
Duration: Approx 50 mins
A Unicorn Production in association with Sarah Argent
SCRUNCH – Wednesday 27 November – Sunday 22 December 2019
Created by Sarah Argent and Kevin Lewis
IT’S BABY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS.
Award-winning director Sarah Argent returns to the Unicorn with hugely successful show Scrunch, a beautifully intimate, sensory show for audience members aged six to eighteen months (and their guardians) which first premiered at the Unicorn in 2014. Scrunch is the perfect introduction to theatre for the very young.
There’s snow on the ground and lights in the tree, then scrunch, scrunch, scrunch… footsteps on the path – who can it be? Ding, dong. Doorbell rings and there’s a present for baby, not to be opened until Christmas Day. The paper’s exciting – scrunch it, rumple it, crumple it… what can it be?
Scrunch is a delightful one-man show featuring co-creator and performer Kevin Lewis.
Kevin has been a theatre director and actor for over 35 years. For 27 years, he was Artistic Director of Theatr Iolo, prior to leaving in 2018 to pursue a freelance career. During his time at Theatr Iolo, he directed over 50 productions including their widely praised Grimm Tales which was winner of the Best Play for Children and Young People by the Theatre Critics of Wales Awards 2013. He has also performed as an actor in a number of shows developed with and directed by Sarah Argent: three shows for babies – for the Unicorn, Scrunch and Baby Show and Out of the Blue which toured extensively including to Sydney Opera House. Other credits include The Lonely King and Queen a collaboration with Kolkata-based ThinkArts and its associate artists from Jhalapala Theatre Company; and his solo performance Marcos has played throughout the UK and in Russia, USA, Ireland and Austria.
For many years, Kevin and Sarah taught acting and improvisation at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and University of South Wales.
Sarah Argent is an award-winning director specialising in devising theatre for the very young. Her credits at the Unicorn include several hits including Baby Show, Seesaw, Not Now Bernard and Huddle. From 2001 to 2018, she was an associate of Theatr Iolo, developing all the company’s work for the under fives. She has also created productions for many of the UK’s leading theatres including the National Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Polka Theatre, Welsh National Opera, Sherman Theatre, and internationally for Haya Cultural Centre, (Amman, Jordan), ThinkArts (Kolkata, India), Barnstorm Theatre (Kilkenny, Ireland) and Companyia Frec a Frec (Barcelona). Her productions for these companies have been performed across the UK, in Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East, and South Asia.
For ages 6 – 18 months
Duration: 40 mins, including 15 mins play time
For more information visit http://www.unicorntheatre.com