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Unicorn Theatre announces 'biggest ever' autumn/winter season

The venue will see the return of several old favourites alongside new commissions

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The Unicorn Theatre has announced its autumn/winter season, billed as the young people's venue's "biggest yet", featuring 14 new productions and collaborations.

Highlights include Ellen McDougall's Christmas production of Annie Siddon's new adaptation of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (opens 26 November), and Gbolahan Obisesan's new play How Nigeria Became: A Story, and A Spear That Didn't Work (opens 14 October).

In September, Scottish puppeteer Ailie Cohen joins Lewis Hetherington to create The Secret Life of Suitcases, suitable for ages 4+, while last season's Something Very Far Away returns for a week-long run.

Elsewhere, Brecht classic The Caucasian Chalk Circle will be reimagined for young adults by director Amy Leach (from 16 January); and the life of music hall star Vesta Tilley - famed for her male impersonations - will be explored in Britain's Best Recruiting Sergeant by Joy Wilkinson (from 13 February, ages 8+).

There will also be a collaboration with Fundus Theater and Research Theatre Hamburg based on the book 50 Dangerous Thing (You Should Let Your Children Do) in February, and, in March, a return for artistic director Purni Morell's acclaimed production of The Velveteen Rabbit.

Announcing the season, Morell said today: "One of the things I've been thinking about a lot recently is what we as adults expect from the theatre we take our children to; for example, how can we be sure that, when we take them to see a play, we're not encouraging them to see the world the way we want them to see it, but instead allowing them the space and freedom to explore the world on their own terms.

"This preoccupation is what underpins the whole of our next season at the Unicorn - my third as artistic director - and I'm extremely excited to find out over the course of the year how our audiences, young and old, will respond to the very different shows on offer."

For more on the Unicorn's new season, visit unicorntheatre.com