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1001 Stories Collection

The Bee in Me

1001 The Bee In Me
Added on 29th September 2020

Writer Roland Schimmelpfennig

Family Identity and fairness

A play celebrating the power of the imagination.


A ten-year-old child struggling with their difficult home life copes by escaping their dingy flat into a world of imagination. Thinking of themselves as a buzzing bee, they navigate everyday social situations as though they are the levels of a computer game.

Why we chose it

A celebration of the power of the imagination.

Where it came from

Roland Schimmelpfennig (b.1967) is an award-winning German playwright, journalist, director, and dramaturg. The Bee in Me was first performed in the UK at the Unicorn Theatre in London from January - March 2020. The play was translated by David Tushingham and directed by Rachal Bagshaw, Associate Director at the Unicorn Theatre. The production was aimed at audiences over 8, and performed by three narrators (Akshay Sharan, Emily Burnett and James Russell-Morley), who shifted between playing the child and other characters. Bagshaw believes the story has resonance today because in a time when arts funding is low, the play celebrates imagination. Furthermore, many children in the UK are living in poverty, so those in the audience may identify with the main character’s struggles, yet the message is one of hope in a dark situation.

Where it went next

The Bee in Me was well received if not widely reviewed, receiving four out of five stars from both The Guardian and The Stage. The production was praised for its message of joy and hope, as well as its production design and direction.

Associated stories

Other plays by Roland Schimmelpfennig include The Golden Dragon (2010) and Push Up 1 – 3 and The Woman Before, both of which have been performed in translation at the Royal Court Theatre.

Added on 29th September 2020

Writer Roland Schimmelpfennig

Family Identity and fairness