Unicorns, Almost

  • Accessibility:
    Sight not needed
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


Unicorns, Almost is a one-man play by Owen Sheers about the life and work of WWII poet Keith Douglas. Let an immersive set and a 'wonderful performance' (Margaret Atwood) by Dan Krikler take you into Douglas' world, from childhood through four engagements to fighting in the Western desert and his death three days after D-Day aged 24. This is the story of the accelerated development of a poet and his desperate race to see his words in print before time runs out. Directed by John Retallack. Produced by The Story of Books.

Please note that while all media gallery content is provided by verified members of the event, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society does not review or approve this content before it is posted. Reports of inappropriate content or copyright infringement can be directed to [email protected].

General venue access

  • Sight not needed
  • Accessible entry: Information not supplied
  • Wheelchair access type: Not fully wheelchair accessible

  • Stairs: 11- 20
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Abigail Hirst 118 days ago

A heart-wrenching production with a rivetting, emotive and entirely convincing performance by Dan Krikler. Unicorns, Almost must also be commended for its fluid lighting, sound, costumes, staging and attention to detail.

Nancy Workman 118 days ago

The Hepburn House Army Reserve Centre is a trek from Old Town, but it was well worth it to see this well-acted and well-staged show (and to get a peek at the caribou head in the bar). You could spend your whole Fringe seeing shows about WWII, from the moving In Loyal Company to the reprehensible A Grave Situation; Unicorns, Almost stands out for its exceptionally intelligent and nuanced look at war through the eyes of a young officer and poet.

Lesley Warner 119 days ago

☆☆☆☆☆ This immersive one-man play introduces us to Keith Douglas the little-known WW2 poet, a young soldier who wants to be a cavalry officer but instead becomes a tank commander at the battle of El Alamein and later in the Normandy landings. Movingly portrayed by Ben Krikler, Keith experiences the danger and horror of war while sharing his thoughts and dreams with us. He's realistic enough to know his first collection of poems may also be his last, and his foreboding is realised when he dies shortly after D-Day. The site-specific set at the Army Drill Hall puts us right in there with Keith, adding to the impact of the play, and there's also a small exhibition about Keith's life and work.

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

Ed Fringe Review (5/5 stars) 108 days ago

It is sure to become a classic...

Read the full review

Ed Fringe Review (4/5 stars) 108 days ago

A masterful immersion into the emotions of a man faced with death and oblivion...

Read the full review

British Theatre Guide (5/5 stars) 108 days ago

The story of Keith Douglas, who is arguably the greatest British war poet of the Second World War, is one that surprisingly is little-known. Whilst names like Sassoon and Owen roll off the tongue of almost any English class student, his story even now is relatively obscure. But The Story...

Read the full review

Edinburgh Guide (4/5 stars) 114 days ago

An atmospheric glimpse into the war years of poet Keith Douglas, this is a beautifully written and skilfully performed show. With a set and seating that firmly places the audience into the life of Douglas’s war, the scene is established quickly. War poets are well known from WWI but Douglas...

Read the full review

Broadway Baby (4/5 stars) 116 days ago

Name a Second World War poet. Rupert Brooke, Robert Graves, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and many others are household names from the Great War of 1914-18 but who are their counterparts from 1939-45? It’s a tough question, but Unicorns, Almost - by award-winning playwright and BAFTA nominee Owen Sheers -provides...

Read the full review

The Wee Review (5/5 stars) 117 days ago

This is a sand-blasted tragedy in khaki. The title is from Keith Douglas’ war poem Aristocrats, where the ‘Unicorns, almost’ are the officers who ride their tanks as if riding to hounds, and whose ‘famous unconcern’ allows them to see the North African desert as one enormous cricket ground. Douglas...

Read the full review

Edinburgh Festivals Magazine (3/5 stars) 117 days ago

How to do justice to the life of a poet? Should you tell the biography, or wrestle with the art? Owen Sheers’ life of Keith Douglas, as directed by John Retallack, sets up camp – literally – in the former. You enter the theatre as though to a roomy bivouac...

Read the full review

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

Please login to add a review

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.