Richard Bean and Simon Stephens will premiere new works back-to-back in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs as part of the Royal Court’s spring season, announced today (16 November 2010). Both worked extensively at the Royal Court in their early years and have gone on to become two of the country’s leading contemporary playwrights.

Bean’s black comedy The Heretic - directed by Court deputy artistic director Jeremy Herrin and running from 10 February to 19 March 2011 (previews from 4 February) – tackles the divisive issue of climate change and questions whether the science on the matter is really settled. In it, leading academic Dr Diane Cassell is vilified for being at odds with the fervent believers that climate change is man-made.

It’s followed, from 5 April to 7 May 2011 (previews from 31 March), by Stephens’ Wastwater, which brings together the author with director Katie Mitchell for the first time and is co-produced by Wiener Festwochen (Vienna). Set on the edges of Heathrow Airport, the elliptical triptych offers snapshots of three different couples whose choices define the fallout of their future.

Bean and Stephens’ last plays premiered at the Royal Court were, respectively, Harvest in 2005 and Motortown in 2006. Among their myriad other award-winning credits are: for Bean, Toast, Honeymoon Suite, Under the Whaleback (all at the Court), The Big Fellah, The English Game and England People Very Nice; and for Stephens, Country Music, Herons, Bluebird (all at the Court), Pornography, On the Shore of the Wide World and Punk Rock.


Meanwhile in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, the Royal Court’s International Department will present two UK debuts and European premieres - Our Private Life by Colombian Pedro Miguel Rozo and Remembrance Day by Latvian Aleksey Scherbak – in an international season that will also include a programme of talks, readings and other events.

Our Private Lifeis a “new black comedy of twisted morality” that looks at truth, rumour and slander. It runs from 18 February to 12 March 2011 (previews from 11 February) and is directed by Lyndsey Turner and translated by Simon Scardifield. Remembrance Day, which looks at the politically charged tensions in modern-day Latvia, runs from 23 March to 16 April 2011 (previews from 18 March). It’s directed by Michael Longhurst and translated by Rory Mullarkey.