Unicorns, Almost

Unicorns, Almost - a play by Owen Sheers, produced by The Story of Books 

*News: We are very excited that our production of Unicorns, Almost for BBC Radio 3 has reached the finals of the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2021. Dan Krikler is a finalist in the 'Best Debut Performance' category.*

Our production of The Story of Books, directed by John Retallack and produced by Emma Balch premiered in Hay-on-Wye in May 2018. The audio play was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in May 2020. The live show toured to Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Army @ The Fringe/Summerhall) and Bristol Old Vic in 2019, and the immersive audio show was part of the office D Day 75 commemoration programme in Bayeux, Normandy, and at Army at the Fringe. Faber & Faber publish the play script, which includes an introduction by playwright Owen Sheers, and an introduction to to our production by director John Retallack.  

Owen Sheers in Bayeux, 2019 


An exciting video story about the development of Unicorns, Almost (Army @ The Fringe 2019 Show). Follow the team through successes and failures as they find solutions to crises and experiment with ways of working in different contexts.

The journey includes:

  • (Now) acclaimed playwright, novelist and poet Owen Sheers performing a one-man play as a student, to script development at the Old Vic and first reading by Joseph Fiennes at Hay Festival.

  • The first live show, with blind & visually impaired young people involved in the design process. Working with a BSL interpreter for special live performances. 

  • A youth team working through the run, and partnering with local community groups to reach unexpected audiences. 

  • Research in library archives to source material for a stunning visual identity. Creating a ‘kit of parts’ that could be adapted for publicity in different locations and mediums. Commissioning a letterpress printed broadsheet gift to all ticket holders, and publishing a programme/script published in partnership with Faber Drama. 

  • Transforming a hotel function room usually used for weddings into a totally immersive set with professional sound and lightning design and high spec kit. 

  • Making a new set for Edinburgh Fringe, and a compact touring version for Bristol Old Vic & Hay Festival. 

  • A crisis that led to making an immersive audio experience for presentation in France and Edinburgh (A@TF 2019)

  • Adapting the audio version as a radio play for BBC Radio 3. 

The video story is followed by a Q&A with Emma Balch. 

Part of Army @ The Virtual Fringe: https://www.armyatthefringe.org/virtual