Purni Morell
Purni Morell

The 2016 World Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences, to be held in Birmingham, will be programmed by the Unicorn's artistic director, Purni Morell.

The festival, entitled On The Edge, will be held from 2 to 10 July 2016 with the aim of "showcasing the best theatre for children and young people from across the UK, Ireland and across the world."

This will be the first time the festival, now in its 19th year, has been held in the UK. It will be produced by Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) UK and TYA Ireland.

"A whole generation of theatre-makers are searching for a new aesthetic and theatre language that is not so much about story or society but about theatre itself," said Morell today. "And, wonderfully, that change is nowhere more visible than in the theatre that is being made for children and young people."

Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England added: "At the Arts Council we are committed to supporting work created by, with and for young people, believing passionately in the value of immersion in the arts from an early age. It will be a great pleasure to see this internationally acclaimed Festival in Birmingham in 2016."

Morell will be advised by Tony Reekie (Imaginate), Adele Al-Salloum (Spark Festival), Ali Fitzgibbon (Young at Art), Miranda Thain (Take Off), Emily Coleman (Hijack Children's Festival, Brighton) and Kevin Lew (Theatre Iolo, Wales).