Friday, 26 July 2019

NEWS: Liverpool's Unity Theatre announces Autumn Season.

Autumn 2019 at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre 
Multi award-winning new writing | Outstanding work for young people 
Supporting home-grown companies
- Outstanding theatre for young people, including the Big Imaginations Festival   
- Multi-award-winning play about Birmingham schools scandal Trojan Horse- World renowned disability arts company Graeae return this November
- Supporting exciting new home grown work from Kitchen Sink Live
- Enter a magical festive world this December with Beasty Baby

Opening Unity’s 2019 Autumn season is Lost Boys on 4 – 11 September from National Youth Theatre; a timely take on life in northern towns from nationally-acclaimed Formby playwright Luke Barnes. Prepare for a healthy dose of provocation, laughter and witty comment on disability with Still No Idea from Bunny on 13 – 14 September. Next up is a fantastical, physical tale - A Long Way Home on 26 September; made by Ben Phillips in collaboration with John Wright, a founder member of the acclaimed companies Told By and Idiot and Trestle. On September 28 we have gorgeous puppetry and the history of women’s suffrage with Horse and Bamboo’s Suffrajitsu, based on the real life story of the group, who used Jiu Jitsu to protect themselves from arrest and police brutality.

On 4 – 6 October we welcome LEAP Dance Festival from Merseyside Dance Initiative (MDI), with Cupid’s Revenge from New Art Club, one of the UK's best-loved and funniest dance theatre companies and Black Holes from Alexandrina Hemsley and Seke Chimutengwende. Lovers of new dance can indulge at the LEAP Scratch Night before the latter.

Box of Tricks Theatre are back on 9 – 12 Oct after the runaway success of SparkPlug with Under Three Moons, a generation-spanning play about how men relate to each other today. 15 October sees the first of our Big Imaginations Children’s Festival shows; Stitch Brothers, Patchwork Dreams from Matthew Linley Creative Projects. This magical fusion of hip-hop, music, live drawing and animation unites musician and composer Arun Ghosh, artist Fabric Lenny and composer, beatboxer and sound artist Jason Singh. Next up in the festival is visual feast Baba Yaga (25 Oct) from Windmill Theatre and Imaginate Productions; winner of Best Design in the 2019 Critics’ Award for Theatre in Scotland. Direct from critically acclaimed seasons at the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival and Adelaide Festival, it’s a gorgeous new take on an old Russian folktale. Last up in Big Imaginations is mini from Italian theatre-makers Compagnia TPO; a riot of colour and magical real-time projections that will be an unforgettable theatre experience for pre-school children on 30 October.

An undoubtable highlight this October is LUNG’s Trojan Horse (18-19), a multi-award-winning examination of the accusation of ‘hardline’ Muslim teachers and governors of plotting extremism in Birmingham schools. It’s a brave, terrifying account of a community ripped apart by racial division and ‘British values.’

We’re delighted to welcome back Paines Plough following the success of Pop Music last year. I Wanna Be Yours (25 Oct) is a tender, funny, lyrical play about finding love from London Poet Laureate Zia Ahmed. On 29 October Unity present a new play that is in development from emerging theatre-makers Kitchen Sink Live. This new Liverpool company are dedicated to making real authentic theatre with and for young people, and REAL-EYES is eagerly awaited.

November sees the return of the peerless deaf & disability-focussed company Graeae. True trailblazers, and inimitable in the theatre industry, every show is hotly anticipated, and this new production of Winsome Pinnock’s One Under (14 – 15 Nov) is no exception.
On Saturday 16 November, we welcome moving five-star performance event Truth to Power Café (London Artists Projects) that is making waves on its UK tour. The evening combines memoir, image, poetry, music; live and spontaneous testimony from participants in response to ‘who has power over you and what do you want to say to them?’. Participants are cast in advance from the people of Liverpool.

Finally, this year we have an extra-special Christmastime treat in the form of Theatre-Rites’ magical Beasty Baby (10 – 28 Dec). It’s won five-star reviews for its inspired mix of puppetry and live music, taking us on a journey deep into the forest, on a wild adventure to bring up a mischievous and totally loveable child. It’s a first for Unity to present a Christmas show for the under-fives, and we can’t wait to invite audiences along for the ride.

Alongside its artistic programme, Unity presents The Big Taboo. These are free events are designed to help audiences get more out of their experience, and include debates, Q&As, screenings, podcasts & more. Events and experiences will be programmed directly in response to the shows and artists on our stages, and will be detailed in full at

Mother Who Make also returns for the Autumn season; a grass roots, national initiative, dedicated to supporting mothers. The monthly sessions allow artists to connect, share ideas, and gain support, and are led by Tmesis Theatre’s Claire Bigley.

Gordon Millar, Artistic Director and CEO: 

“Last year I asked audiences what they wanted from their Unity experience. The response was clear – performances from renowned and emerging artists with content that asks questions and styles that challenge norms. It was also apparent that artists from Liverpool’s communities needed to tell their stories. We have all of that and more this season. Celebrated companies Told by An Idiot, Graeae and New Art Club join artists from our city such as Kitchen Sink Live, Luke Barnes and Ben Phillips. And we’re challenging the status quo with Still No Idea, Trojan Horse, Homotopia and Truth to Power Café. I hope you find our Autumn season entertaining, captivating and fulfilling. As always, Unity invites you to get curious, see a performance, and get involved and be inspired”.

Lost Boys | National Youth Theatre | Wed 04 - Wed 11 September (7.30pm) | £14 / £10 conc & NYT Members £8 Schools
Still No Idea | Bunny in association with Ellie Keel Productions and Traverse Theatre | Fri 13 - Sat 14 September (7.30pm) | £15 / £12 conc
A Long Way Home | Ben Phillips | Thu 26 September (7.30pm) | £12 / £10 conc
Suffrajitsu | Horse & Bamboo | Sat 28 September (2pm) | £10 / £8 conc
LEAP: Cupid’s Revenge | MDI | Fri 04 October (7.30pm) | £10 / £8 conc
LEAP: Black Holes | MDI | Sat 05 October (7.30pm) | £10 / £8 conc
LEAP: Scratch Night | MDI | Sat 05 October (6pm) | £7 / £5 conc
Under Three Moons | Box of Tricks  | Wed 09 - Sat 12 October (7.30pm) | £12 / £10 conc / £5 Groups 8+ and Creative Members
Stitch Brothers, Patchwork Dreams | Matthew Linley Creative Projects | Tue 15 Oct (3pm & 7pm) | Adults £12 / Kids £10
Trojan Horse | LUNG | Fri 18 & Sat 19 Oct (7.30pm) | £12.50 / £10 .50 Conc / £5 Groups 8+ and Creative Members
Baba Yaga | Windmill Theatre Company and Imaginate Productions | Fri 25 Oct (3pm) | Adults £12 / Kids £10
I Wanna Be Yours | Paines Plough | Fri 25 Oct (7.30pm) | £15 / £12 Conc
REAL-EYES | Kitchen Sink Live |Tue 29 Oct (7.30pm) | £5 all tickets
Mini | Compagnie TPO | Wed 30 Oct (2pm & 3pm) | £8.50 Children | £9 Adults
One Under | Graeae Theatre | Thu 14 & Fri 15 Nov (7.30pm) | £14 / £10 Conc
Truth to Power Café | London Artists Projects | Sat 16 Nov (7.30pm) | £14 / £12 Conc 
Beasty Baby | Tue 10 Dec - Sat 28 Dec (various times) | £10 Children / £12 Adults
Mothers Who Make | Monthly sessions supporting mothers in the creative industries.
Tue 13 Aug, Tue 10 Sep, Tue 8 Oct, Tue 12 Nov, Tue 3 Dec (all sessions 10:30am - 12:30pm). Those with babies and pre-school children are welcome to bring them along.

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