What you need to know about The Unicorn Theatre:
The Unicorn Theatre is the UK’s leading theatre for children and young people (2 – 21 years). Caryl Jenner founded it in 1947. Back then it was named the Mobile Theatre. The company toured around the country, bringing performances to audiences dealing with the aftermath of the Second World War. The Unicorn Theatre got its first permanent base at Arts Theatre in London’s West End in 1967. In 2005, it moved to it’s current purpose-built space near London Bridge.
The new, modern building has two theatre spaces (Weston and Clore) along with rehearsal and education spaces. The venue programmes their own productions and touring shows. You’ll find drama, comedy, musicals, Christmas shows and more on the bill.
The Unicorn Theatre’s believes children’s theatre should be taken as seriously as adults’ theatre, and also designed specifically with a young audience in mind. The truth is that many of their shows are captivating to adult audiences as well, but the point is that children’s interests and perspectives always come first.
Purni Morell is the Artistic Director. From the summer of 2018, Justin Audibert will be the Artistic Director.
Top facts about The Unicorn Theatre:
- The Unicorn Theatre is fully committed to access requirements. They regularly schedule captioned, BSL-interpreted, audio described and relaxed performances, plus touch tours (more details below).
- In recent years The Unicorn Theatre has attracted a string of big names in contemporary theatre making, including Chris Goode, Tim Crouch and Chris Thorpe.
- The Unicorn Theatre works with schools, including creating in-depth resource packs for teachers that accompany the performances.
Key information about The Unicorn Theatre:
Tube: The closest tube station is London Bridge (Northern and Jubilee lines), which is about 10 minutes walk away.
Train: London Bridge is also the closest train station.
Bus: RV1, 47, 343 and 381 stop just outside the Unicorn Theatre on Tooley Street. To plan your journey in more detail please visit the Transport for London website.
Parking: There is strictly no parking outside the theatre. However, there is a Pay & Display car park at Q-Park Tower Bridge, which is a five minute walk from the theatre.
The Unicorn Theatre strives to be as accessible as possible to all visitors, young and old.
Wheelchair users can access the whole of the building. They also have spaces for wheelchairs in the auditoriums. You can book these via the box office.
Working dogs are welcome at the theatre. You can either take them into the auditorium or leave them with a member of staff. Please arrange this in advance.
The theatre spaces have a Sennheiser infra-red hearing system. You can book headsets to use with this through the Unicorn’s website or via their box office. It is also possible to pick up one on the day at the box office, although it is advisable to book in advance.
For the audio-described and relaxed performances, there are trained Access Assistants on hand to ensure visitors are as comfortable as possible and have any questions answered. They also provide a chill-out room for children and carers to have a quiet space before, after and at any point during the performance.
The Unicorn Theatre normally has unreserved seating. However, for audio described, captioned and BSL-interpreted performances, the venue uses seat numbers. This allows you to choose exactly where is best for you to sit to make the most of the performance and, for example, be in the best position to see the captions.
To discuss all access requirements and to book tickets, please contact the box office on 020 7645 0560.
The theatre offers access discounts, in the form of Access User prices and free companion tickets. These can be limited, so please book in advance directly through the theatre box office.
The Unicorn Theatre programmes audio described, captioned, BSL-interpreted and relaxed performances, plus Touch Tours. All dates can be found here.
With Relaxed performances, the theatre makes available a ‘visual story’ of the show ahead of time, so you can get a feel for what the performance is about and what it will be like.
The Unicorn Theatre does not have its own café or restaurant, but it does sell a range of cakes, savouries and healthy snacks (all made locally) in the wonderfully-named Unicornershop. If you do want something more substantial or a sit-down meal, there are lots of place nearby, including the More London complex or the Shad Thames area. There’s also Borough Market near London Bridge station.