The Unicorn Theatre is one of the leading professional theatres for young people. They offer a range of productions for children and young people and believe that children’s theatre should be judged by the same standards of writing, acting, directing and production as adult theatre. The website is clear and everything has a suggested age range to make sure your little ones enjoy the right shows for them.
MUMMY’S GIN FUND SAYS:
The Unicorn Theatre is a very special place. They appreciate that a trip to the theatre needs to be more than the show and everything from their box office team, kid-friendly cafe and the free soft play at the ‘Up Club’ go towards making this an exciting and fun trip out with kids. Their focus on quality and interesting productions means that you’ll enjoy the shows as much as your kids. Everything I’ve seen there captures the imagination and uses dance, drama and set designs as points for exploration – and often interactivity and play. I can’t recommend this place enough! (by Lizzi Easterbrook).
I have been to shows at the Unicorn Theatre several times with my children and they have always been really great. My older two (aged 11 and nine) loved going to an evening show based on a popular Young Fiction book that explored themes suitable to their age in a way they found gripping and thought-provoking. My younger two (aged three and five) have seen a couple of daytime shows that were very visual with few words but lots of music and aural effects to hold their attention until the end. After the show, there was a short workshop where they got to go onstage, meet the characters, run, jump, stomp and laugh a lot. We also went to the Christmas show which we all loved. The website is very clear on what shows are suitable for which age range and booking tickets is easy. Everything inside is geared towards children from the soft play area, cafe, tables and chairs in the foyer to sofas with books and boxes of toys on the mezzanine levels. It has a lovely location near to the river where there are fountains to play in, space to run around and lots to see. You can make it a full day out, but even if you go just for the theatre you know it will be a great production at a very reasonable price (by Polly Dooley).
Address: Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street, Southwark, London, SE1 2HZ.
Playground: No, but there’s a small living room area on the first floor that visitors are welcome to use anytime, including toys and books for all ages plus a comfy sofa for the adults.
Cafe: Yes. Hot and cold drinks, homemade cakes and snacks. The prices are average and they try and use locally sourced food. For something more substantial, there are lots of child-friendly cafes nearby.
Toilets: Yes, in the basement but there is a lift. Plenty available, very clean, lots of space, low sinks for children and baby changing facilities.
(from their website: We have baby changing facilities in our toilets at basement level and and changing stations on 2 and 4, and have high chairs available at all times. When our Unicornershop is open, or if you are making a trip to see Baby Show, you can also make use of our bottle warming facilities.)
Pram / wheelchair / mobility friendly: Lots of accessible performances including BSL interpreted, audio described and ‘relaxed performances’. The Unicorn state: ‘Our building is wheelchair accessible throughout, assistance dogs are welcome and Sennheiser hearing loops are available on request’.
Parking: Tooley Street is a red route and there is no parking available at the theatre. The theatre recommends QPark Butler’s Wharf, 5 minutes walk from the theatre.
Train: London Bridge is a five-minute walk from the theatre straight along Tooley Street. If you have more time then go through Hays Galleria and along the river which is great fun for kids, even more so if they are on scooters.
DLR: Tower Gateway.
Tube: London Bridge.
Bus: RV1, 47, 343, 381 stop just outside the Unicorn Theatre on Tooley Street.
Phone: 020 7645 0560.
A theatre dedicated to shows for children aged from 0-13+ (although adults enjoy them too). The building contains two theatres, two rehearsal spaces and four floors of public space including a cafe and a small soft play area in the foyer. They also run workshops and other children’s events. Considering it is a London Theatre the prices are very low comparably (they do family tickets too).
Box office is open 9.30-6.00 (Mon-Fri) and 10.00-6.00 (Weekends).
Has a free indoor soft play called the Up Club.
Review by Polly Dooley and Lizzi Easterbrook.