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Cooke & Norris Reunite for Clybourne at Court

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The Royal Court has announced its new season, running from August 2010 to January 2011. It features six new plays including, as previously reported (See News, 12 May 2010) the Sloane Square venue's first ever family Christmas show, Get Santa!.

The autumn season opens in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs with artistic director Dominic Cooke's production of Bruce Norris' satirical new play Clybourne Park, which runs from 2 September to 2 October 2010 (previews from 26 August).

Inspired by Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, the play explores the relationship between race and property, as two generations of prospective house buyers are affected by the local community's attitudes.

Norris previously collaborated with Cooke on The Pain and the Itch in 2007 (which marked Norris' debut and Cooke's first production as artistic director), while his other plays include The Infidel, Purple Heart and The Unmentionables.

Clybourne Park is followed, from 20 October to 13 November (previews from 14 October) by Nina Raine's Tribes. Roger Michell, who started his career at the Court in the 1970s, will return to the venue for the first time in 15 years to direct.

The play, Raine's first for the Royal Court (where she trained as a director), is billed as a “fascinating dissection of belonging, family and the limitations of communication”, centring on a deaf young man's struggle to be heard amid his fiercely intelligent and proudly unconventional family.

Rounding off the season in the Theatre Downstairs is the premiere of Get Santa!, the Court's first ever family Christmas show, written and directed by Anthony Neilson with music by Nick Powell.

It's Christmas Eve but Holly isn't happy. All she's ever wanted from Santa is to meet her real Dad for the first time. And every time, Santa's failed to deliver, bringing lots of useless presents instead. So this year she's hatched a plan...

The “magical, musical and downright mischievous” show runs from 14 December to 15 January (previews from 1 December), with special daytime school performances on selected dates.

Jerwood Theatre Upstairs

In the smaller Theatre Upstairs, two graduates of the Court's Young Writers' programme, Nick Payne (If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet) and newcomer EV Crowe, will make their Royal Court debuts.

Payne's Wanderlust (9 September to 9 October), directed by Bristol Old Vic associate Simon Godwin (Far Away), investigates sex and intimacy - and whether the two have any relation to each other.

Crowe's Kin (19 November to 23 December) is an “intricate and anarchic view of what really goes on when ten-year-olds are away from home”, directed by Royal Court deputy artistic director Jeremy Herrin.

The third premiere is Brett Neveu's Red Bud (21 October to 13 November), directed by Jo McInnes. The play, which looks at fading friendships and the “creeping spread of middle age”, is Chicago-based Neveu's first play to receive a major outing in the UK.

Further ahead

As part of today's announcement, the Royal Court gave a tantalising glimpse of its programme for 2011.

In April, the venue will present the world premiere of Wastwater, a new play by Simon Stephens directed by Katie Mitchell. Performed in three parts, audiences will see all three in one night in differing orders.

Meanwhile, the Royal Court's £10 Mondays scheme will continue from August to December thanks to sponsorship by French Wines.


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