Theatre News

Royal Court announces new season

The Sloane Square venue will present five world premieres and the return of ”Rita, Sue and Bob Too”, 35 years after its original run at the Court

Royal Court
Royal Court
© Flickr/Tom Brogan

The Royal Court has announced its autumn/winter season, which includes five world premieres and the return of Rita, Sue and Bob Too.

The new season in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs will kick off with Lola Arias' Minefield (2 to 11 November). The piece — which brings together the experiences of British and Argentinian veterans of the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas war — returns to the venue following a sold out run in 2016.

This will be followed by the world premiere of Goats ( 24 November to 30 December) by Syrian playwright Liwaa Yazji. Directed by Hamish Pirie, Goats is set in a small town in Syria struggling to cope with the impact of civil war.

In the new year, Andrea Dunbar’s landmark play Rita, Sue and Bob Too (9 to 27 January) will return to the Court following a UK tour. Max Stafford-Clark directs, 35 years after helming the original production in 1982.

Matilda writer Dennis Kelly returns to the Royal Court with the world premiere of his new play Girls & Boys (8 February to 10 March). Directed by Lyndsey Turner (Posh, Hamlet, Chimerica) the play follows a couple from an unexpected airport encounter through their careers, buying a house and having kids.

© Tristram Kenton

The new season in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs begins with the world premiere of Ukrainian playwright Natal'ya Vorozhbit's Bad Roads (15 November to 23 December) — about what it is to be a woman in war time — directed by Royal Court artistic director Vicky Featherstone.

Featherstone then directs two more plays Upstairs; Anoushka Warden's debut play My Mum's a Tw*t (8 to 20 January) – a girl’s true account of losing her Mum to a cult; and Gundog (31 January to 10 March) by Simon Longman, about two sisters trying to hold their family together after the death of their mother.

The final production of the season Upstairs is Black Men Walking (21 March to 7 April) by Testament. The piece about a walkers group in the Peak District, is directed by Dawn Walton in an Eclipse Theatre Company and Royal Exchange Theatre co-production.

The Royal Court's temporary venue, The Site returns with the UK premiere of Grimly Handsome (6 to 23 December) by American playwright Julia Jarcho, created by Sam Pritchard and Chloe Lamford.

Talking about the new season, Featherstone said: "This autumn we invite emerging writers from across the world to make radical new work for Britain.

"From Syria, Ukraine, Argentina and the US, these writers – all women – are writing about conflict, radicalism and justice… these plays are hewn from the need to magnify, to tell, and to deepen our understanding of the often closed off stories and lives that we only witness filtered through news channels."

Tickets for the new season go on general sale on Thursday 13 July at 10am. Casting for all productions is to be announced.