Justin Audibert directs Anansi the Spider, a lively and playful show for the younger members of the audience about the ultimate mischief-maker, Anansi. This production marks Audibert’s first show in his opening season as Artistic Director at the Unicorn Theatre.
People say that a long, long time ago, animals walked on two feet and spoke with words. And back then it was known by everyone that the cleverest of all the animals in the Kingdom was a spider – the infamous Anansi – the original trickster and the master spinner of yarns.
Anansi the Spider is one of the great folk heroes of the world. He is as clever as he is lazy and he loves to prove how smart he is by tricking the people in the village and the animals in the jungle. But sometimes he can be too clever for his own good.
Drawing on the rich vein of traditional African and Caribbean stories, Audibert shapes a selection of amusing tales in which the legendary spider tricks, sings and dances his way out of trouble and often right back into it.
The Anansi legend originated in Ghana, with the Ashanti tribe. The stories were part of a vibrant oral tradition, recounted from generation to generation, and all featuring the central character of Anansi – both human and spider. These stories were carried to the Caribbean with the Transatlantic slave trade, and so Anansi’s ability to outwit and defeat those more powerful than himself has become both a symbol of hope and rebellion. These myths of resistance and subversion have endured and evolved into one of folklore’s most popular characters who although small can outsmart those bigger than himself.
In celebration of Black History Month, this highly physical and inventive piece of theatre with live music will be vividly performed by Afia Abusham, Sapphire Joy and Juliet Okotie. The audience will be invited to get cosy on cushions in this immersive show, while the mischievous spider gets up to all sorts of roguish behaviour.
Age guide: 3 – 7 – Duration: Approx 50 mins
Unicorn Theatre 147 Tooley Street, London SE1 2HZ from 18th sept – 27th October. Times: Various (See website for details). Admission: £10 – £20. Phone: 020 7645 0560