Letter: Children's theatre has become invisible

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The Independent Online
Sir: Jenny Topper's letter responding to David Lister's article, 'A nation suffering from stage fright' (14 December), is uncannily familiar. As director of the Unicorn Theatre for Children at the Arts, Leicester Square, I am committed to bringing theatre of the highest quality for our audiences.

There is undoubtedly a glass wall between our work in the theatre and the general public. However, if it is bad for adventurous companies as the Hampstead Theatre, it is 10 times worse for a children's theatre company. Despite trying to attract the best - the writers we have worked with here over the past two years include Fay Weldon, Ken Campbell, Adrian Mitchell and Liz Lochhead; Taffy John Bates (Dancing at Lughnasa) is our choreographer, our designer was resident designer for the ENO and our composer has just won the IBM Composer's Competition - we might as well be invisible.

Reviews of our work by broadsheet critics are as rare as hen's teeth. Surely work for children has to be taken more seriously? Or what audiences will there be in the future?

Yours sincerely,

RICHARD WILLIAMS

Artistic Director

Unicorn Theatre

London, WC2

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