Theatre News

Royal Court announces reopening season beginning next month

Jasmine Lee-Jones, Al Smith, Caryl Churchill and more feature in the season

The Royal Court
The Royal Court
© Helen Murray

The Royal Court in west London has revealed a reopening programme of work taking it through until the end of 2021.

Award-winning playwright Jasmine Lee-Jones will return with hit show seven methods of killing kylie jenner, playing from 16 June to 27 July 2021 and reopening the west London venue. Having previously premiered in the venue's upstairs space in 2019, the show now plays downstairs for six weeks, with Tia Bannon and Leanne Henlon starring. Plans for a digital capture are to be announced.

Directed by Milli Bhatia, the piece's creative team features Rajha Shakiry (designer), Jessica Hung Han Yun and Amy Mae Smith (co-lighting designers), Elena Peña (sound designer), Delphine Gaborit (movement director), Jemima Robinson (associate designer) and Shereen Hamilton (assistant director).

Chloe Lamford, Wende, Isobel Waller-Bridge and Imogen Knight will create The Song Project, playing from 17 to 28 August, featuring words by E V Crowe, Sabrina Mahfouz, Somalia Nonyé Seaton, Stef Smith and Debris Stevenson. The experimental piece will start with a single idea: that some things can only be sung.

Ola Ince will direct the UK premiere of Aleshea Harris' award-winning piece Is God Is, which sees 21 year-old twins Racine and Anaia try to avenge their mother. Casting and creative team are to be revealed. It runs from 10 September to 23 October.

A 14-minute short Caryl Churchill piece, What If If Only, will play from 29 September to 23 October, directed by James McDonald (its run overlapping with Is God Is). Casting is to be revealed.

Al Smith's new play Rare Earth Mettle will run from 10 November to 18 December, directed by Hamish Pirie. It sees three worlds collide on a Bolivian salt flat, exploring risk, delusion and power. Casting is to be revealed.

The Royal Court's upstairs venue will be home to a "Living Archive", which will use a series of events and experiences to highlight gaps in our history.

The Playwright's Podcast will return from tomorrow, featuring Simon Stephens as well as a fresh cohort of writers and makers.

The venue's artistic director Vicky Featherstone said: "After the huge success and collaborative adventure of Living Newspaper – when we made 98 films working with over 300 freelancers, reaching 46 countries and with audiences in their thousands we are now proud to be re-opening our building with four pieces of work by eight writers which were all postponed by the sudden onset of the global pandemic. We are also thrilled to be announcing a new short play written at the height of this time, by Caryl Churchill.

"It is testament to the vision and questing of the playwrights and artists at the Royal Court, that the work programmed two years ago is still way ahead of its time. In fact, seeing through the new optics of our post-pandemic and ruptured world these pieces now seem more acute, more urgent and more universal than ever. The Royal Court was created in 1956 to be ahead of public taste and consciousness and if anything, this work proves that that mission is as alive now as it ever was.

"We are so humbled by the support of our audience, artists, donors, board and staff since having to close and cannot wait to welcome them all back with this work, which we have fiercely protected from the pandemic."

A number of the venue's previously revealed shows – The Glow by Alistair McDowall, Purple Snowflakes and Titty Wanks by Sarah Hanly, A Fight Against… by Pablo Manzi and two Palestinians go dogging by Sami Ibrahim – will all return in early 2022.

To make up for a lost year, under 26 ticket discounts are extended to under 27s, with general sale beginning on Friday.

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