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Last Updated: Thursday December 01 2005 13:53 GMT

Theatre designed for kids opens

The theatre's main auditorium
The theatre's main auditorium
The first theatre in the UK which has been built for, and designed by, children has opened in London.

The Unicorn was designed with the help of pupils from a nearby school who acted as consultants over the three years it took to plan and build it.

They contributed their ideas on how it should look, the lay-out, the art that should be chosen and what the plays performed there should be about.

The aim behind it was simple - to build a theatre specifically for children.

Tony Graham, the artistic director of the theatre, said: "This is a dream theatre for children. No other has this shape, design and live-ness that meets the needs of children."

Some of the young consultants
Some of the young consultants

The Unicorn theatre is in Southwark, London.

But what exactly do the children think of their very own theatre?

Kyle, nine, from Croydon saw a performance of Tom's Midnight Garden there with his school. He told Newsround: "It's a really good idea to have a theatre for children.

"It makes you feel important and more grown-up. It's also a much more modern and trendy building. Before coming here I thought of the theatre as old-fashioned and boring.

'You can see'

"You can tell children have designed it because of the colours and the height of everything - it's all really low. As children you're used to not being able to see, whereas here you can."

The Unicorn company has existed for many years, but this is the first time its had its own purpose-built theatre for kids.

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