‘Who buys magic books at times like these? Who buys books at all?’


‘Carl Miller places the fall of Granada in 1491 under youth’s uncompromising gaze. There are three young people at its heart, one Muslim, one Jew and one Christian… their story reverberates across the centuries’
★★★★★ Ronnie Haydon TIME OUT

‘The new, original play is a rare thing; even rarer is a play for children that is as bold and ambitious as this one’
★★★★ Lyn Gardner THE GUARDIAN

‘Miller’s refusal to patronize young theatergoers by soft-pedaling ideas is as invigorating as it is audacious… the quality of Miller’s ambitious script is never in doubt’
David Benedict VARIETY

Want to perform or produce RED FORTRESS?



first performed by the Unicorn Ensemble: Samantha Adams, Jack Blumenau, John Cockerill, Julie Hewlett, Nadia Morgan, Amit Sharma, Devid Smith, Géhane Strehler and Richard Sumitro

with musicians Juldeh Camara, Tunde Jegede and Maya Jobarteh

(27+ roles)

directed by Tony Graham
designed by Adam Wiltshire
composer and sound designer Tunde Jegede
lighting designer John Bishop
movement director and assistant director Jessica Swale
fight director Paul Benzing
aerial consultant Jonathan Graham
dramaturg Cecily O’Neill

additional credits below


(programme note for original production)

This play takes place five hundred and seventeen years ago, in what is now Southern Spain. You can still see the Red Fortress there (in Arabic that’s Qal’at al-Hamra): the Alhambra in Granada. The magic and history of that real place were an inspiration for Tony Graham, the director, when we first started talking about ideas for this play.

You’ll meet three young people. Rabia’s mother is a paper and bookseller; Luis’s father makes medicines; and Iago’s family have been forced to leave the fields where they work. They each have some big decisions to make as the story goes on.

In the play they travel between the City of the Red Fortress and Holy Faith Fort where different kings (and a queen) rule. They get to know a jongleur (a travelling entertainer) a Count, and a mysterious Pilgrim. Our company of actors have to create many different characters to tell the story, and Adam Wiltshire the designer has worked with the wardrobe department here (where costumes are made and fitted) to give us a sense of the differences between them all.

In Red Fortress there are children and adults; rich and poor; Muslims, Jews and Christians. It’s a story about a great city where lots of different people lived. It’s a story about a time of tension and change. It’s a story about the idea of a Golden Age.

All the elements on stage, including Tunde Jegede’s music, Adam Wiltshire’s set design, the actors’ performances – all express how our imaginations have responded to the world of this story. We hope it will excite your imagination as well.

first produced by Unicorn

production manager Adam Carrée
assistant production manager Lisa Harmer
wardrobe supervisor Mark Jones
wardrobe technician Michelle Jones
costume maker Amanda Evans
wardrobe intern Sara Palmer
senior technicians Keth Edgehill and John ‘Buttercup’ Ryan
technicians Adam Clegg and Jeff Mitchell
stage manager Helen Gaynor
deputy stage manager Debbie Waters
assistant stage manager Marie Maton
scenic construction Adam Carrée, Keth Edgehill and Jeff Mitchell
scenic painters Charlotte Gainey and Tash Shepherd

from an idea by Tony Graham

previous workshop teams: Gena Bardwell, Adrian Bethea, Joseph Garel, Vincent Gautieri, Branden Huldeen, Kenny Jackson, Blake McCarty, Ann McCormack, David Montgomery, Andy Ottoson, Katie Pelkey, Dot Portella, Lee Ann Searight, Nancy Swortzell, Veronica Venture, Emily Weidenbaum, Jenni Werner and Nancy Diana Wong (New Plays for Young Audiences); Fraser Cains, Patti Clare, Abdi Gouhad, Richard Hollis, Ellie Piercy, Sakuntala Ramanee and Paven Virk (Unicorn)

photographs by Tristram Kenton (Luis, Rabia and Iago); Alice Pierburg (others)