Thu 24 September - Sat 03 October 2015

Autumn 2015 | Drama

‘His best yet… brave, bold and moving.’
★★★★ Guardian | more?

‘A powerful plea for empathy.’
★★★★ Stage | more?

‘It’s activism starting with self.’
★★★★ Exeunt | more?

"an articulate voice to ask these inevitable and necessary questions."
★★★★ Financial Times

"One of the most gently enticing pieces of storytelling you will see"
★★★★ The Times

The paradisal island of Lampedusa. Where North Africa meets Rome. Home of postcard vistas, white sand beaches, and the site of the most devastating debris washing up on the shore.

Stefano follows in the footsteps of generations of fishermen. But in the twenty-first century the catch is very different: his job is to pull drowned bodies of migrants out of the Mediterranean. And in the bleakest corners of the UK, Denise tramps from door to door collecting pay day loans, witnessing crippling hardship and hearing complaints about immigration.

Putting us in the shoes of those whose job it is to enforce our rules, this is the story behind the headlines of two strangers finding hope and connection where they least expect it.

Lampedusa is by award-winning playwright Anders Lustgarten (If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep, A Day at the Racists, Black Jesus) and directed by Steven Atkinson, Artistic Director of HighTide (peddling, Bottleneck, Lidless).

Directed by Steven Atkinson, Artistic Director of HighTide
Written by Anders Lustgarten
HighTide Festival Theatre and Soho Theatre in association with Unity Theatre

Please note: all seating will be in the form of backless and cushionless benches and will be a limited capacity. 

Supporting Events

African Beach Party

By Dorcas Seb, Bradley Thompson and Keith Saha

Fri 25 Sep @ 7pm & Sat 26 Sep @ 1.15pm | Free Show!

As a response to the play Lampedusa - African Beach Party explores the reactions of Angel and Ben to the current global refugee crisis. By being completely honest and outspoken on the subject, they start to confront questions about themselves that have remained hidden for many years. This 15 minute piece of theatre is performed using 20 Stories High’s style fusing Monologue, Spoken Word and Song.

20 Stories High will also perform this show alongside Unity Youth Theatre's show at 1.15pm, before the matinee showing of Lampedusa on Saturday 26 September

Friday at 7pm - BOOK NOW >>
Saturday at 1.15pm - BOOK NOW >>

Unity Youth Theatre: Overspill

Performed by Dayna Swinburne and Hannah Jacques
Written and directed by Joe Ward Munrow
Sat 26 Sept | 7.30pm | Free Show!

'Overspill' is the Unity Youth Theatre’s response to Anders Lustgarten’s 'Lampedusa'. Lizzie and Anya are stranded. What do they want, what do they need and what, finally, is most important?

Unity Youth Theatre will also perform this show alongside 20 Stories High's show at 1.15pm, before the matinee showing of Lampedusa on Saturday 26 September.

Saturday at 7:30pm - BOOK NOW >>
Saturday at 1.15pm - BOOK NOW >>


Wed 30 Sept | 8pm | Free for ticket holders
A five minute play written by Beverly Hancock, directed by Kevin Dyer, Action Transport Theatre Associate Director. Performed by Kieran Urquhart and Paisley Reid.

Two young people are in a boat. One is rowing. One is fishing. Their talk is light-hearted; of catching a fish, a fish so big it will capsize the boat, of harnessing a dolphin who will pull the boat along so Sara no longer has to row, of pirates and buried treasure and mermaids who sing beautiful, enchanting melodies….as the play progresses, it becomes clear that Sara and Kalib are not addressing each other, but another character hidden from view, laid out along the bottom of the boat: their mother

Adrift will be included as a pre-show performance for Lampedusa on Wed 30 Sep. To purchase tickets for Lampedusa on that performance please click the link below


Farewell Welfare: A Cabaret of Cutting and Chopping

by Collective Encounters
Thu 1 Oct | 7.15pm | Free Show!
Roll up Roll up! Join us for an austerity extravaganza! Delightful tales of woe and welfare in 21st century Britain.

With songs, skits and laughs a-plenty, we’ll tell you stories so outrageous you’ll hardly believe them. Reforms you couldn’t make up!

Will we say farewell to welfare on our journey? Only time will tell…


Destitution Road Show

Fri 02 Oct | 4.30-6pm
Asylum Link's event about migration and asylum from a UK and Liverpool perspective will be held in the Unity bar between 4.30 and 6pm.


Denise - Louise Mai Newberry
Stefano - Steven Elder

Writer - Anders Lustgarten
Director - Steven Atkinson
Designer - Lucy Osborne
Lighting Designer - Elliot Griggs
Sound Designer - Isobel Waller-Bridge
Assistant Director - Rosy Banham


‘His best yet… brave, bold and moving.’
★★★★ Guardian | more?

‘A powerful plea for empathy.’
★★★★ Stage | more?

‘It’s activism starting with self.’
★★★★ Exeunt | more?

"an articulate voice to ask these inevitable and necessary questions."
★★★★ Financial Times


show details

Dates: Thu 24 Sep - Sat 3 Oct
Times: Various
Running time: 70mins
Prices: £14 - £8
Charges: 50p card transaction | £1 postage
Venue: Unity Theatre (U2)

coming soon:

The Princess and The Pea