Max Stafford-Clark's acclaimed company Out of Joint, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, will next month mount a new play by first-time writer Stella Feehily. Co-produced with the Royal Court, Duck opens on 24 July 2003 at Bury St Edmunds before continuing a four-month tour to 11 further venues before receiving its London premiere at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, where it runs from 25 November 2003 to 10 January 2004.

Set in Dublin, teenager Cat is the Duck of the title, so-called by her nightclub-owning boyfriend because she's got big feet. But she's also got a middle-aged lover, a psychotic mum and a best friend with brains. Whose lead will Cat follow?

The cast for Duck are Gina Moxley, Ruth Negga, Aidan O'Hare, Tony Rohr, Karl Shiels and Elaine Symons. The production is directed by Stafford-Clark and designed by Jonathan Fensom, with lighting by Johanna Town and sound by Paul Arditti.

Following Bury St Edmunds, Duck heads to Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre (from 31 July to 23 August) during the 2003 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and then visits Lichfield, Manchester, Bath, Birmingham, Leeds, Dublin, Plymouth, Warwick, Brighton and Tunbridge before its London season at the Royal Court.

Over the past decade, under the leadership of former Royal Court artistic director Stafford-Clark, Out of Joint has premiered plays by some of the theatre's leading writers, including Sue Townsend, Jim Cartwright, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Sebastian Barry and Mark Ravenhill. The company's many acclaimed productions have included Shopping and Fucking, Feelgood and Our Country's Good. Earlier this year, Out of Joint presented the double bill of Oliver Goldsmith's 18th-century comedy She Stoops to Conquer and April de Angelis' new spin-off A Laughing Matter, which toured the country and had two runs at the National Theatre.

This autumn, in another co-production with the National, the company will mount the world premiere of David Hare's new play The Permanent Way, which tackles the vagaries of the UK's modern rail crisis. In 1991, before an election they did not expect to win, the Conservative government made a fateful decision to privatise the railways. Twelve years later, the industry is subsidised more lavishly than ever before. Billed as an "extraordinary parable of British mismanagement", The Permanent Way is based on first-hand accounts with those most closely involved.

Exact dates and venues for The Permanent Way have not yet been confirmed, but it's due to begin a UK-wide tour in November 2003 ahead of a run at the NT Cottesloe (See News, 23 Jan 2003). The premiere production will be directed by Stafford-Clark and designed by William Dudley (The Coast of Utopia, Hitchcock Blonde).

- by Terri Paddock