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Unity spring season celebrates big 30

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Liverpool’s Unity theatre has announced its spring season with an aim of celebrating the history of the venue as it begins its 30th anniversary year.

The programme is offering a selection of drama, dance, physical theatre, multimedia and experimental pieces from local companies as well as touring productions.

Graeme Phillips, artistic director, said: “It seems hardly possible that in 2010 we celebrate 30 years in our Hope Place home, but we do! The programme we have put together features the cream of the companies currently touring the UK, who will entertain, provoke, amuse, annoy, delight and surprise you over the spring months. Behind the scenes we have been making a few significant tweaks that we are sure will make your visit to Unity even more enjoyable, we hope that you can join us!”

Starting the spring season is Dialogue Productions’ first visit to the Unity with a trilogy of Neil LaBute plays in February.

Opening on Tuesday 9 February until Saturday 14 February, is local company Fuse Theatre’s hard hitting drama, Not In My Name, a play that allows people to openly discuss issues around terrorism and extremism. The play is a direct response to the Government’s ‘prevent agenda’ and is aimed at schools.

Continuing the educational theme is Judith Johnson’s Somewhere, which is billed as an edgy drama that follows a young group of teens through good and bad times. Somewhere is an insightful piece about finding oneself and raises various issues such as alcohol and drug abuse, anorexia, loss and young love.

A production regarded as a season highlight by the Unity, is Spike Theatre’s Top of the World. The new piece charts beekeeper Edmund Hillary and porter Tenzing Norgay’s epic ascent up Mount Everest in 1953. Capturing this inspiring tale through projected animation, puppetry and a whole load of snow Spike ensure a spectacular theatrical treat for the whole family, as they share the story behind one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century.

In March, award-winning Welsh dance company Earthfall present GIG, which is described as being “a high-octane satirical rampage through the human condition with dark humour, bold dance, live music and film.”

Other March highlights include Tick Tick Boom, Unity’s one and only musical theatre piece this season. Written by Pulitzer prize winner Jonathan Larson, author of Rent, Tick Tick Boom fits into the theatre’s 30th celebrations as the piece looks at Larson’s autobiographical tale of a young composer on the brink of turning 30 years old.

Local comedic company The Suitcase Ensemble present its play Clunk in March, which tells a story of two women and a man living together but not really knowing why.

Paul Hodson’s play Meeting Joe Strummer also visits the Unity in spring, which looks at the life of the member of the band The Clash.

April sees the return of Beating Berlusconi, which is based on the true story of a Liverpool fan who ended up sitting next to Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the Attaturk Stadium during Liverpool’s triumphant win against AC Milan in the Champions League final in 2005. The play features over 40 characters played by actor Paul Duckworth.

On Thursday 22 and Friday 23 April, Unity Theatre and DaDa International present No Idea, which is a multimedia experience with two women, Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence, who have two very different disabilities. Using a tape recorder, Spence and Hammond asked people what they thought their show should be about. The result shows a funny, heartfelt and sometimes staggering insight that is revealing, especially about what people can (and can’t) imagine when we look at someone.

Bringing the spring season to a close is a co-production from Iscona and Particip8, called Behind the Hood. The play follows the story of two young boys whose worlds are thrown together after an innocent walk in the park turns into a chase for their lives.

For more information or to book tickets for any of Unity Theatre’s spring offerings call 0844 873 2888.


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