Unicorn Theatre announces new artistic director

Theatre director Justin Audibert has been announced as the next artistic director of London’s Unicorn Theatre, the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences.

Justin Audibert announced as Artistic Director of Unicorn Theatre

Justin Audibert

He will take up the position this summer, taking over from Purni Morell who steps down as artistic director in the spring after nearly seven years in the role. He will work alongside executive director Anneliese Davidsen.

Justin said: “Under the leadership of Purni and Anneliese, the Unicorn has flourished as one of the most innovative, provocative and international theatres in the UK. It has become a crucible of experimentation, not afraid to ask the most difficult questions about how we live in an ever-changing world.

“I feel privileged to be building on this wonderful legacy and can’t wait to work with the brilliant team to make the Unicorn a creative home for the most talented artists working in theatre today.

“Above all else though, I feel incredibly excited and honoured to be leading our inspirational audiences on what I am sure will be an exhilarating journey of discovery, to imagine other possibilities and to explore new worlds.”

Justin’s most recent directing credits include The Box of Delights for Wilton’s Music Hall at Christmas and Chris Thorpe’s adaptation of Beowulf and Holger Schober’s My Mother, Medea, both at the Unicorn.

In February, Justin will open The Winter’s Tale in his new version for young audiences at the National Theatre and then in August this year he is directing Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s Snow in Midsummer for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which he originally premiered at the RSC in 2017.

Justin’s programme for the Unicorn’s stages will kick off in May 2019.

Alongside many other directing credits including shows at the National, Soho Theatre, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Finborough Theatre, the Young Vic, Live Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne and West Yorkshire Playhouse, Justin wrote and presented the BAFTA-nominated BBC Live Lessons on Shakespeare for younger audiences and he has taught and directed widely at universities and drama schools in the UK, the US, China and Brazil.

John Langley, chair of the Unicorn board, said: “Justin is well known to the Unicorn through his recent productions of Beowulf and My Mother, Medea. It is difficult to think of two classic works of literature that in recent years have spoken so vibrantly and without condescension to audiences of young people.

“As chair of the Unicorn, I am thrilled to welcome him to the team. As a theatregoer, I am intensely curious to see the work his directorship will bring us. Above all, I am confident that Justin’s range of experience and radical vision will take all of us who love and value the Unicorn to exciting new places in the years to come.”

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