Anansi the Spider, Unicorn Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

They say that a long time ago animals could talk, just like people do now. Anansi the spider was the smartest of all these ancient creatures, and used his intelligence for all sorts of nefarious aims. His legacy of scheming lives on as a collection of stories from West Africa to the Caribbean. This new production presents three of them where the mythical trickster isn’t always the nicest, but directed by Artistic Director Justin Audibert for 4-7 year-olds, they are engaging morality tales with music, interaction and excellent performances.

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Dido, Unicorn Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

If theatre has a reputation for being inaccessible and snobbishly high cultured, opera is doubly regarded as such. Fortunately, the Unicorn and ENO teamed up to make this young people’s version of Dido and Aeneas, pared down to 60 minutes with an easy-to-understand story for secondary school students. However, the story is pitched as placing Dido’s teenaged daughter at the centre, but this version is not reconfigured enough to make her more than a passive observer of her mother’s collapse.

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The Show in Which Hopefully Nothing Happens, Unicorn Theatre


By Laura Kressly

For a show in which hopefully nothing happens, there are plenty of weird and wonderful things that unfold, of course. Because a children’s show – or one for adults for that matter – would be incredibly dull indeed if nothing happened, but that’s absolutely not a worry here. 

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Feature | Top Ten Shows of 2018

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by Laura Kressly

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.

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Beginners, Unicorn Theatre


by Laura Kressly

Kids are intuitive. They’re smart, observant and know a lot more about the world than adults think they do. Tim Crouch’s play where adults and children play each other and kids eventually run the show also proves that they aren’t that different from each other anyway. Whimsical design, innovative dramaturgical devices and an unwilling to patronise young people with obvious storytelling combine to create a marvellous and thoughtful piece of theatre for all ages.

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Othello, Unicorn Theatre

by guest critic Hailey Bachrach

Ignace Cornelissen’s Henry the Fifth, which was at the Unicorn Theatre in 2015, remains one of my favourite versions of that play ever. Setting King Henry’s French wars in a sandbox, Cornelissen simplified without dumbing-down the central themes of Shakespeare’s play.

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Wild Life FM, Unicorn Theatre

by guest critic Kudzanayi Chiwawa

Kim Noble, Pol Heyvaert, Jakob Ampe and the nine, young singer/songwriters they worked with describe this piece as part gig and part play, and it’s exactly that. The show unfolds as if in a radio station’s live broadcast, with a clearly confident cast carrying you through the unusual format, allowing the audience to simply enjoy it.

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Laika, Unicorn Theatre

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. To help him come to terms with her imminent departure, mum buys him a book about Laika, the first dog to go to space.

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How Nigeria Became, everything theatre

“It’s 1914. The British government has merged the tribes and kingdoms to create modern Nigeria. King George V has sent Charles (Christian Roe) to visit Herbert Ogunde (Tunji Falana) to ask him and his theatre troupe to perform at the unity celebrations…

“The story the theatre troupe shares with Charles follows young girl Jenrola (Rita Balogun) on her quest to find the spear of Shango…Also looking for the spear are Aguzani (Stephanie Levi-John) and Obaze (Rebecca Omogbehin). The three women engage in a battle of wit and strength to see who can get to the spear first…

“The story of Charles, Herbert and his actors is framed by a Yoruba creation myth that starts and finishes the production…As lovely as this story was, it felt disconnected from the main plotline, even though it provided the background to the spear…

“All of the actors except Roe play multiple roles, and they do so incredibly skillfully. Falana…employs great physical skill to differentiate these characters and shows the inherent misogyny of 1914 Nigeria through comedy rather than nastiness…

“The set is simple but colourful and effective. The stage is a painting of a river delta and coast, forming the natural curve of the stage. There are mats and cushions on the front of the stage for young children, which gives them more of an opportunity to engage with the interactive elements of the production…

“This production is highly polished and engages the young members of the audience as well as the older ones. It was a great experience…seeing numerous young people engage with the action unfolding before them.”

Read the entire everything theatre review here.