Icarus – Unicorn Theatre, London

Writer: Katrin Lange

Translator: Purni Morell

Director: Cressida Brown

Reviewer: Mike Wells

We all know of the boy who flew too close to the sun, but this incarnation of Icarus is about much more than just the exuberance of youth.

The production follows Icarus’ journey from his family home to the island of Crete, to find his father and bring him home. Wonderfully played by Marshall Defender Nyanhete, his exuberance and infectious energy throughout ensures there is never a dull moment.

Always trying to do the right thing, Icarus remains steadfast in the face of great danger and refuses to give in to tyranny and intimidation. It his is strong moral fibre that gets him into trouble, but it’s also that same moral fibre, which gets him out of it.

Nyanhete’s chemistry with Selva Rasalingham (who plays his father, Daedalus) is wonderfully genuine and engaging. While Rayxia Oho (as the Emperor’s daughter, Ariadne) deftly flips from a vulnerable daughter to a self-assured princess with a really charming performance.

While clearly aimed at a younger audience (8-12 years), this story is far from tame. It is as action-packed and energetic as one might expect, but it is also far darker than your average ‘children’s theatre’. At no point is it condescending, nor does it always try to take the easy option.

In a nod to the original, the young Icarus still flies too close to the sun – he’s still a teenager after all. However, this time his ultimate fate isn’t quite as you’d expect.

Above all else, it’s simply good theatre. If you have children, and even if you don’t, it’s an hour and a half well spent.

Runs until 10 March 2019 | Image: Camilla Greenwell

Review Overview

The Reviews Hub Score

Imaginative Retelling

The Reviews Hub

The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. We aim to review all professional types of theatre, whether that be Commercial, Repertory or Fringe as well as Comedy, Music, Gigs etc.

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