Richard Bean's new climate science drama The Heretic opened at the Royal Court last night (10 February, previews from 4 February 2011) starring Juliet Stevenson, who returns to the Sloan Square venue for the first time since taking the title role in Tom Murphy's The Alice Trilogy in 2005.

Directed by the Royal Court's deputy artistic director Jeremy Herrin, Olivier Award-winning Stevenson plays a leading academic vilified for being at odds with the fervent believers that climate change is man-made. The Royal Court's premiere production of the black comedy runs until 19 March 2011.

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Stevenson's previous appearances at the Royal Court include The Country, Other Worlds and Death and the Maiden for which she won the 1992 Olivier Award. Amongst her extensive theatre credits are Duet for One at the Almeida, The Seagull at the National Theatre and Burn This at the Hampstead Theatre and in the West End.

She is joined in the cast by James Fleet, Johnny Flynn, Adrian Hood and Leah Whitaker. The Heretic is designed by Peter McKintosh, with lighting by Paul Pyant and sound by Emma Laxton.