Theatre News

Dennis Kelly and Abi Morgan feature in Featherstone’s first full Royal Court season

The Royal Court’s new artistic director has today unveiled her first programmed season of work, running from September 2013 to February 2014

Vicky Featherstone has announced her first programmed season of work at the Royal Court, which runs from September 2013 to February 2014 following her inaugural Open Court summer festival.

The season in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs will start on 5 September with the world premiere of The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas by Dennis Kelly. Directed by Featherstone, it follows the lifespan of a man caught up in capitalist greed, and runs until 19 October 2013.

Kelly’s play – which marks the Matilda writer’s Royal Court debut – will be followed by the National Theatre of Scotland’s Let the Right One In, written by Jack Thorne (also making his Court debut) and directed by John Tiffany ahead of a West End transfer.

Based on the novel and film by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In is billed as a “brutal vampire myth and coming-of-age love story” and runs from 5 December to 21 December 2013 (previews from 29 November). There will be a number of £10 tickets for under 26s available.

In January, Lisa Dwan will perform three short pieces by Beckett – Not I, Footfalls and Rockaby – directed by Walter Asmus, which will run ahead of an international tour. Returning to the Royal Court following a run of Not I, Dwan’s trilogy will run from 9-18 January 2014.

Abi Morgan will then mark her Royal Court debut with new play The Mistress Contract, running from 30 January to 8 March 2014. Based on transcripts of interviews with an American couple over 40 years, it will be directed by Featherstone.

Morgan’s recent work includes 27 (National Theatre of Scotland) and Lovesong (Frantic Assembly). Her screen work includes Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep, and BBC series The Hour.

In the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, the season opens in September with the return of Open Court’s Peckham: The Soap Opera, running from 2-14 September 2013.

From 10-14 September there will be a series of readings of new plays from Chile, promising a “rare insight into life in Chile today, from a traditional Mapuche community in the rural south to contemporary, urban Santiago”.

Next up is a series of plays centred around Islam.

Routes, a new play by Rachel Delahay exploring immigration and belonging, will follow, running from 20 September to 12 October 2013, directed by Simon Godwin.

Richard Twyman will then direct The Djinns of Eidgah, a new play from India by Abhishek Majumdar, which was first performed at the Royal Court as a reading in 2012. Centring on two orphaned siblings stranded by the troubles in Kashmir, it runs from 18 October to 9 November 2013.

In December Gastronauts, described as a “theatre adventure with food”, will provide a light-hearted exploration of food for the festive season. Conceived by Open Court writers, it will be directed by Wils Wilson and runs from 21 November to 21 December 2013.

The recent Weekly Rep play Pigeons directed by Carrie Cracknell will also tour to schools in the autumn.

Featherstone said today: “Introducing major writers, examining different aspects of radicalisation, developing a family audience, collaborative projects, and touring – this first season goes some way to begin exploring these strands, which will develop more strongly as we go. It’s inspiring to be leading the Royal Court into the next stage of this journey.”

She opened this morning’s press conference by inviting journalists to give a cheer for Andy Murray’s Wimbledon victory yesterday, revealing that she knew his mother Judy from her time running the National Theatre of Scotland.

Tickets for the new Royal Court season go on general sale on Thursday (11 July 2013).