Churchill Directs Shawn UK PremiereDate: 20 October 1999
Playwright Caryl Churchill assumes the director's chair tonight with the UK premiere of Wallace Shawn's Our Late Night. The production opens at the New Ambassadors as part of the Royal Court Theatre's final burst of activity before returning to its Sloane Square home next year.
Our Late Night also marks a return to the Royal Court tradition of 'productions without décor', which began at the theatre in 1957. Staged with every expense spared and only the barest indications of scenery and costumes, the productions were intended to offer writers a unique way of seeing their work in performance and to give a platform for new directors. Over the years, the Royal Court has undecorously produced works by writers such as John Arden, Arnold Wesker, Edward Bond, Joe Orton and Peter Gill. In 1974, Caryl Churchill's own play, Moving Clocks Go Slow was so mounted.
Though written in the early 70s, Our Late Night has never been performed in the UK. It depicts seven troubled party-goers as they manoeuvre their way around the sexual minefield of one highly charged city night. New Yorker Wallace Shawn's plays include Aunt Dan and Lemon (revived earlier this year at the Almeida), The Fever (staged at the Royal Court in 1991), The Designated Mourner, A Thought in Three Parts and My Dinner with Andre, which he co-wrote with Andre Gregory, the original director of Our Late Night.
Caryl Churchill is the author of over twenty plays, including many first seen at the Royal Court such as Top Girls, Serious Money, Ice Cream, Cloud Nine and Blue Heart.
For the past three years while the Royal Court's two theatres in Sloane Square have been completely renovated, the theatre has been in residence in the West End at the Duke of York's and Ambassadors Theatres. Its final flurry of West End activity, entitled 'Temporary Works', includes Our Late Night and numerous rehearsed readings at the Ambassadors. In addition, the Royal Court's award-winning production of Conor McPherson's The Weir continues its open-ended run at the Duke of York's.
Our Late Night runs 20-23 and 27-30 October and 3-6 November 1999.