Unity Theatre, Liverpool’s unashamedly contemporary theatre, full of exciting, unique and highly theatrical performance announces a diverse Family Programme for autumn 2017. With a long history of supporting high quality performance especially for children and families this season’s programme realises a promise which will develop over the next four years.
Matthew Linley, Artistic Director at Unity said, “Developing our family audience is a key ambition of us at Unity Theatre. Our recent major capital redevelopment was carried out with the ambition to ensure that we would be able to welcome more families to our very special venue. As part of the redevelopment we installed baby change facilities on all levels of the building and will provide seating in our front of house seating for children, including high chairs. Theatregoers will also be able to buy healthy snacks for children in our ground floor kiosk.
This season’s family offer showcases the very best home-grown children’s theatre companies as well as bringing to Liverpool exceptional work from national companies excelling in work for family audiences.”
Season highlights include Unity Theatre supported production 5 More Minutes (Saturday 16th September 11am & 2pm) â€“ a funny and magical show about bedtime for children and their grownups, which explores the fun, frustration and fantasy that can be had in that magical time between awake & asleep. Real world play blurs with the magic of dreams as everybody tries to settle down and finally get ready to say goodnight, and go to sleep unless that is, they can have 5 more minutes!?
Liverpool Theatre Company Travelled Companions specialise in creating theatre for little ones and embark on a second Arts Council of England supported tour after sold out performances in Southport during Unity’s Spring 2016 Out of Space Season.
The show is suitable for children under 6 and their families and children are asked to bring along their favourite bedtime snugly.
In October Unity Theatre hosts performance for Children and Families in partnership with Manchester venue Z-Arts and a number of other North West organisations in the consortium Big Imaginations. The Big Imaginations Festival for Children and Families demonstrates the theatre’s commitment to programming performance aimed at children under 12 and their families. Unity Theatre will present 3 very special performances for family audience.
Award winning clarinetist Arun Ghosh brings his exciting energy and original music to the Festival in the Big Imaginations Jazz Club (Friday 20th October, 1pm), Bhuchar Boulevard In association with Big Imaginations, Partition History Project and Polka Theatre presents Child of the Divide – a story of family, identity and belonging; marking the 70th anniversary of the partition of India (Wednesday 25th October, 6pm) and Tales of Birbal by Sayan Kent, a compelling performance inspired by the true story of the Mogul poet and author Birbal, akin to Aesop’s Fables (Friday 27th October, 2:30pm).
In addition to the Big Imaginations performance, Arun Ghosh Quintet will play with his band, as part of his album tour on Friday 20th October, 8pm.
Unity Theatre’s ever-popular Saturday Splatterdays creative play workshops return to the new-look venue for the Autumn where children’s imaginations run wild! Autumn workshops run September 23rd, October 7th, 21st and 28th, November 4th and 18th. Check unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk for times and prices.
As part of our State of Mind season, the award-winning Unity Youth Theatre will re-stage their brilliant play Umbrelephant written with Liverpool writer â€¦ where UTY will look at the issue of Mental Health and young people’s health-and-wellbeing. (Saturday 14th October, 2pm and 4pm).
Just before Christmas, excellent puppetry from the associate directors of the National Theatre’s world renowned production War Horse, Gyre and Gimble’s The Hartlepool Monkey a physical theatre and puppetry production based on the urban myth of the same name (Friday 17th, 8pm â€“ Sat 18th November 3pm & 8pm).
The opening season concludes with Unity Theatre annual festive family treat produced with Cheshire partners Action Transport Theatre. This year’s much loved Christmas show will be The Jungle Book. The family-friendly Christmas show, perfect for ages 5+ and their families, runs from 1st December 2017 toh January 2018 with dedicated Schools only performances from Monday 4th – Friday 22 December.
The Jungle Book boasts an international acting company, all of whom have links with Liverpool, local actor Joe Shipman (Narvik/Liverpool Playhouse), an award-winning singer, musician, physical performer and actor, originally from Northern Ireland Fionnuala Dorrity (Liverpool Everyman), American BAME performer and Educator Asif Majid and finally Brazilian Sam Perez Duran (Hope Street Ltd Graduate) makes his professional debut. The acting company perform as part of the ensemble in addition to their main characters.
The Jungle Book, based loosely on the stories of Rudyard Kipling will be devised by the Company, directed by Nina Hajiyianni, written by Kevin Dyer, with all new music by Angus McLeod and Lighting by Unity Theatre’s Phil Saunders.
The Jungle Book is a bold, all new re-telling of the well-known Rudyard Kipling story and will be filled with a whole host of jungle fun which continues Unity Theatre’s successful partnership with Action Transport Theatre. This year’s production promises to offer the usual fun and laughter together with newly composed music, especially created dance and song.
Upon completion of the Liverpool run, The Jungle Book will transfer to the home of Action Transport Theatre, Whitby Hall in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire: Wednesday 10th â€“ Sunday 14th January, times vary.
Unity Theatre Artistic Director and CEO, Matthew Linley said, “Were really delighted to be working with Action Transport once again and this year’s show The Jungle Book promises to be a very special production. The Jungle Book is about finding where your home is and I can think of no better theme to end our first fully programmed season – back in our newly developed Unity home! Together with Nina and Kevin I can’t wait to see the show our cast creates for our audiences to enjoy this Christmas time.
For full listings, times and prices go to the Unity Theatre website.