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The Bee In Me - Unicorn Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE Unicorn Theatre’s Associate Director Rachel Bagshaw will direct Emily Burnett, James Russell-Morley and Akshay Sharan in the UK premiere of The Bee In Me, which runs at the Southwark venue from Friday, January 31 to Sunday, March 1, 2020.

The Bee In Me is written by one of Germany’s most exciting contemporary writers, Roland Schimmelpfennig, in a translation by David Tushingham.

One ordinary boy living an ordinary life. Every day the same: parents still asleep, late again for school, can’t find his clean trousers. But today is different. Today is a game. Today he has wings.

Fly out of your room. Congratulations! Level two. Get dressed, find breakfast, don’t wake your parents, get to school, reach level three, keep going… Don’t get flattened… Level four…

The play frames a day in the life of a 10 year-old from his perspective. The child imagines himself as a bee completing levels in a computer game in order to cope with the day.

This exceptional new production for 8 – 12s is both joyful and demanding, a dazzling psychogeographic journey through a child’s imaginative day. Full of energy, warmth and sorrow, it celebrates a child discovering their inner resources, resilience, determination and ingenuity.

Three actors perform as the storyteller, using voice and physical movement to take us on the child’s journey in this dreamlike, kaleidoscopic play. With lighting and projection by award-winning Joshua Pharo and atmospheric music and game sounds created by Jon McLeod, this defly written and profound play perfectly expresses a child’s perspective on the adult world they are emerging into, and the power of the imagination to set us free.

Roland Schimmelpfennig is one of the most performed playwrights in Germany and one of its most original voices, with his work produced in over 40 countries. Previous plays include Winter Solstice, The Golden Dragon and Arabian Nights (Actors Touring Company), The Woman Before and Push Up both at the Royal Court. Schimmelpfennig is the recipient of the highest playwriting award in Germany, the Else Lasker Schüler Prize in honour of his entire oeuvre.

Rachel Bagshaw is an award-winning director. Her credits for the Unicorn include Aesop’s Fables. Other credits include most recently Midnight Movie (Royal Court), Hamlet (Young Vic), The Shape of Pain (China Plate/Edinburgh Fringe/BAC/Tour), Resonance at the Still Point of Change (Unlimited Festival, Southbank), The Rhinestone Rollers, Just Me, Bell (Graeae); and Not Not Not Not Not Enough Oxygen (Cockpit).

The Bee In Me is suitable for ages 8 – 12.

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 020 7645 0560 or visit