I was brimming with excitement to see how the Unicorn Theatre would reframe Dido and Aeneas, as they’re usually so successful in fulfilling their aim to produce inspiring and invigorating work for young audiences, but the power and emotion of the score doesn’t really come across.
Dido attempts to make opera accessible to young people, but it hasn’t gone far enough to create a vibrant, engaging story for adults or children.
The Show In Which Hopefully Nothing Happens is a deceptively simple and wonderfully surprising little show for little ones, but grownups, particularly those with a penchant for the strange and self-referential will find this an utter delight that reminds us to find the joy in the day-to-day.
A first-rate piece of children’s theatre, this retelling of the familiar myth Icarus (by playwright Katrin Lange, directed by Cressida Brown) challenges a young audience to reflect on whether to believe everything they’re told.
Growing global discontent has been the hallmark of 2018, and 2019 is looking even worse. The last few years have marked a rise of the far-right, but theatremakers in opposition are letting audiences know it from the stage. Some of the best shows of this year show anger, fear, uncertainty or simply let the world know that enough is enough – it’s time for a fairer, more peaceful society that pays homage to all of its people.
In short, Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales is a fine Christmas show for all the family – but don’t be surprised if you have some questions to answer afterwards!
The End of Eddy, starring Alex Austin and Kwaku Mills (in his professional debut) star in this tale of growing up poor, an outsider in a rural France.
Whimsical design, innovative dramaturgical devices and an unwilling to patronise young people with obvious storytelling combine to create Beginners, a marvellous and thoughtful piece of theatre for all ages.
It’s hard to know how to reframe the complexities of envy and irrational hate in youthful terms for Othello at the Union Theatre, but though Cornelissen doesn’t always quite manage it, the result still offers an intelligent take on the classic story.
The Unicorn Theatre has announced the appointment of Justin Audibert as the company’s new Artistic Director. Justin will take up the position in summer 2018, taking over from Purni Morell who steps down as Artistic Director this spring after nearly seven years in the role.
Two walls of Marshall amps sit either side of gleaming trusses. A DJ booth manned by a black-clad figure sports a banner for a place called Heorot. Smoke seeps through vents in the floor and a woman in goth metal dress prowls the stage.
Sami and his mum are preparing for her to go to Mars for years and years and years. Both obsessed with space, Sami’s proud of her but worried that he might never see her again.
Justin Audibert directs Debbie Korley as the brave, bold and charismatic Beowulf in Chris Thorpe’s searing new version of this ancient, epic masterpiece opening in October.
Understated clowning, public failure and live music create a metatheatrical world of mediocrity that is meant to be challenged. A musician supports a showman that claims to know it all, but who really can only partially list items in categories like ‘colours’ and ‘weather’, and bungles up counting in several languages.
SEDOS (Stock Exchange Drama and Operatic Society, long since open to people from all walks of life across London) never disappoints. Their Candide – with a thirteen piece band – certainly bears comparison with many a pro show.
After the high-priced saccharine vapidity of Elf , it felt like time to check out something both classier, and more affordable. Always perilous for the lone critic is a primary-schools matinee, but I have forgiven this dedicated children’s theatre for the time I emerged with bubblegum in my hair from an enthusiastic blower in the row behind. I recommend the nice solo bench at the back by the door. Defensible space…
There is the eerie flickering of candlelight and the faint sound of Edwardian music hall as we walk into Manchester’s Royal Exchange Studio and take our seats. Barber Owain Sawyers (Gary Lagden) is tending to his client – he’s comfortable with using a cut-throat razor as he spruces up his latest victim customer and it soon becomes apparent that Sawyers doesn’t shy away from a spot of dentistry either…
This blog is a bleat. And I hope the producers and promoters of theatre for children are paying attention. Sadly, theatre for children – other than at Christmas when it briefly moves centre stage – remains at best a fringe venture and at worst a Cinderella genre. So it needs all the publicity and attention it can get. Right?
MERRIMENT , MUSIC HALL, AND WAR A while ago I wrote – see http://tinyurl.com/q53tp5p – about how well and honestly fringe and mainstream theatre had evoked the popular first world war experience, without mawkishness or grandeur. Now children’s theatre has … Continue reading →