Theatre News

Unicorn Theatre to present Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants and Malorie Blackman’s Pig Heart Boy on stage

Rachel Bagshaw reveals details of her inaugural season as artistic director

Artwork for Odd and the Frost Giants
Artwork for Odd and the Frost Giants, provided by the production

Newly appointed artistic director of the Unicorn Theatre, Rachel Bagshaw, has announced two world premiere stage adaptations as part of her inaugural season.

She commented: “I am delighted to start my tenure at the Unicorn by announcing two major shows in our 2024/25 season as a sneak peek of the work to come. I’m hugely excited to be directing Odd and the Frost Giants this Christmas, a show that promises a wondrous mix of magic, bravery and humour, and captures both our imaginations and hearts in its storytelling. I am also thrilled to be collaborating with Sheffield Theatres and Children’s Theatre Partnership on Pig Heart Boy, a major adaptation of a Malorie Blackman favourite. I can’t wait to see this landmark novel for young audiences develop into its world premiere stage production.”

Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants, adapted for the stage by Robert Alan Evans and directed by Bagshaw, will run from 19 November to 31 December 2024.

Filled with Norse legends and mythical creatures, the piece follows an unlikely hero named Odd, who must rescue Odin, Thor and Loki (all trapped in animal form in the human world) and defeat the invading Frost Giants before they unleash an endless winter.

Pig Heart Boy is adapted by Winsome Pinnock and directed by Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu. It is scheduled to run at the east London venue from 26 January to 22 February 2025 and will then embark on a nationwide tour.

Blackman’s novel follows 13-year-old swimming enthusiast Cameron, who is in desperate need of a heart transplant and is running out of time. On the news of the world premiere stage adaptation, she commented: “I am delighted that Pig Heart Boy will be staged at the Unicorn, the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences, ahead of a national UK tour. Though I wrote the story a while ago, it is still as relevant today as it was when first published and the topic of organ donation is still an urgent one. The Unicorn has the most lively and enthusiastic audience and a world-class reputation for tackling big weighty issues in an accessible way so it will be a thrill for me to see how audiences will react to the challenges Cameron, the main character, faces in the play.”

Finally, a theatrical reading of Roald Dahl’s The Magic Finger was made available yesterday to stream online for free over the next 12 months via the Unicorn Theatre’s website.

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