Irish playwright Gary Mitchell returns to London's Royal Court this autumn with his new play. Loyal Women receives its premiere at the Court's Jerwood Theatre Downstairs on 11 November and continues until 13 December 2003 (previews from 5 November).

Set once again in Belfast, Loyal Women finds Brenda under siege in her own home. Upstairs, her daughter Jenny's baby is crying, her mother-in-law is sleeping in the front room and now the women of the Ulster Defence Association want to meet there. It's impossible for Brenda to see where family ends and loyalty begins.

The Royal Court production is directed by Josie Rourke and designed by Christopher Oram. The cast includes Clare Cathcart, Michelle Fairley, Lisa Hogg, Sinead Keenan, Cara Kelly and Valerie Lilley.

Loyal Women is Mitchell's third play for the Royal Court, after Trust and The Force of Change, which was first seen in the Upstairs studio space before transferring Downstairs for an extended run in November 2000.

Currently playing at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs is Blood, the Oedipal drama by Swedish playwright Lars Noren, which stars Francesca Annis and Nicholas Le Prevost. It opened on 25 September 2003 (previews from 18 September) and continues up to 25 October 2003 (See News, 29 Jul 2003).

- by Terri Paddock