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The End Of Eddy © Ryan Buchanan 31

Digital Direction

Digital Direction is a new project for secondary schools from Edinburgh International Festival, designed to support the Higher and Advanced Higher Drama qualifications by connecting students with leading theatre practitioners. Developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in consultation with drama educators, its purpose is to enrich these courses, inspiring drama students during a time when they are unable to access live theatre. 

The project will interview professionals from across the theatre sector asking them about their practise, experiences and any advice they have for the students. Below is our first interview with Artistic Director of the Unicorn Theatre, Justin Audibert. 

Check back for more interviews coming soon. 

Justin Audibert – Artistic Director, The Unicorn Theatre 

We chat to Justin Audibert, the Artistic Director of The Unicorn Theatre in London – the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences. Justin discusses with us the process he took during lockdown to turn his successful stage show Anansi the Spider into a series of online theatre performances, as well as provide some tips and tricks for creating your own online theatre. 

About Justin Audibert

Justin is Artistic Director of the Unicorn Theatre where he has directed: THE CANTERVILLE GHOST; ANANSI THE SPIDER; AESOP’S FABLES; BEOWULF and MY MOTHER MEDEA. 

Other recent directing credits include: 

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW; SNOW IN MIDSUMMER; THE JEW OF MALTA (Royal Shakespeare Company); MACBETH; THE WINTER’S TALE (National Theatre); THE BOX OF DELIGHTS by John Masefield; adapted by Piers Torday (Wilton’s Music Hall); THE CARDINAL by James Shirely (Southwark Playhouse); SNOW IN MIDSUMMER by Frances Ya Chu Cowhig (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); THE JUMPER FACTORY by Luke Barnes (Young Vic Prison Project); HOW NOT TO LIVE IN SUBURBIA: by Annie Siddons (Soho Theatre); WINGMAN by Richard Marsh (Soho Theatre) THE MAN WITH THE HAMMER by Phil Porter (Plymouth Theatre Royal); UNSCORCHED by Luke Owen (Finborough Theatre) GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES by Rajiv Joseph (Gate Theatre); 

Justin recently wrote and directed three episodes of ANANSI RESPUN for the Unicorn Theatre and The Guardian and directed the short film JOSEPH KNIGHT for the National Theatre of Scotland and BBC Scotland. His production of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW was broadcast live into cinemas around the world and his productions of MACBETH and THE WINTER’S TALE both adapted by him for young audiences are part of the National Theatre Collection- Drama Online.   

In 2012 he was the recipient of the Leverhulme Award for Emerging Directors from the National Theatre Studio and was one of the Guardian’s 12 Theatre Stars for 2020.  

He is a trustee of Told By An Idiot, Invisible Flock, the JMK Trust and the Peggy Ramsay Foundation. 

About The Unicorn Theatre

The Unicorn is the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences, producing an eclectic and surprising programme of work year-round for children aged 6 months to 18 years. Based in their purpose-built home at London Bridge, they connect artists and audiences through a broad range of work that is honest, refreshing and international in outlook, across a range of disciplines.  

The Unicorn presents and tours around twelve shows each year, at home and abroad, to around 90,000 children and their parents and carers, and work extensively with schools and in the community to invite children from all cultures into a conversation about art and the world we live in. 

About Anansi the Spider

The Unicorn Theatre's autumn 2019 production, Anansi the Spider, aimed at ages 3–8 is based on the classic West African and Caribbean tales about the infamous spider hoaxster. Through music, singing and storytelling, these folk tales were vividly brought to life on the Unicorn's stage by Artistic Director Justin Audibert. 

In May 2020, the Unicorn launched Anansi the Spider Re-spun as its first entirely digitally conceived experience. Based on the live show, the company re-worked and re-imagined the play for an online medium, employing a playful and creative approach to filming and editing in order to capture the feel of a live performance whilst also making the most of the creative potential of film. 

Anansi the Spider Re-spun is being re-released and will be available to watch from 1–31st October: