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Cooke brings back Norris, Stenham & Neilson for final season at Court

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Dominic Cooke has announced his final season as artistic director of the Royal Court. Featuring writers from his first year at the venue - Bruce Norris, Polly Stenham and Anthony Neilson - the spring/summer 2013 season also features new plays from Anders Lustgarten and Polish writer Anna Wakulik.

In the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs

The season in the main house will open with Anders Lustgarten’s If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep, running from 20 February to 9 March 2013 (previews from 15 February).

The play, which will be directed by Royal Court associate Simon Godwin in a production “without décor”, looks at the politics of global banking.

Lustgarten won the inaugural Harold Pinter Playwright’s Award in 2011 which is given annually by Pinter’s widow, Lady Antonia Fraser, to support a new commission at the Royal Court. His first produced play A Day at the Racists, about the workings of the British National Party, premiered at the Finborough Theatre in 2010.

It’s followed by Cooke’s final production as artistic director - Bruce Norris’ new play The Low Road, billed as a “fable of free market economics and cut-throat capitalism”.

It’s a fitting choice, seeing as Norris’ The Pain and the Itch was the first play Cooke directed in his first season in charge in 2007.

Norris’ other credits at the venue include Clybourne Park (2010), for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and received the Tony Award for Best Play. The Low Road is his first commission at the Court.

In the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs

The season opens in the smaller Upstairs venue with Polly Stenham’s new play No Quarter. Running from 16 January to 9 February (previews from 11 January), it promises “an anarchic twist on the drawing room drama”.

Fleeing a world he has rejected, Robin finds solace in his music and the sanctuary of his remote family home. But as his kingdom begins to crumble around him, how far will he go to save it and at what cost?

No Quarter is directed by Jeremy Herrin, who also helmed Stenham’s breakthrough That Face and follow up Tusk Tusk at the Court. His other recent credits include This House (National Theatre), Children’s Children (Almeida) and Absent Friends (West End).

It’s followed, from 27 February to 23 March (previews from 22 February), by Polish writer Anna Wakulik’s A Time to Reap.

From a forested Polish village to the blinding lights of London, the play looks at one woman’s story against the mountain landscape of an evolving nation and one of Poland’s hottest political topics - abortion and the Catholic Church.

A Time to Recap is translated by Catherine Grosvenor and directed by Caroline Steinbeis.

Rounding off the new season in the Upstairs is A New Play, written and directed by Anthony Neilson (10 April to 4 May, previews from 5 April).

The play will be created in the rehearsal room with a cast of actors to be announced. Neilson’s previous work at the Royal Court includes Get Santa!, Relocated, The Wonderful World of Dissocia, Heredity, The Lying Kind and The Censor.

Dominic Cooke said today: “In April I hand over to the brilliant Vicky Featherstone and the Court begins what promises to be a thrilling new chapter in its history. In the mean time I hope you will join us in Sloane Square for an eclectic and provocative group of plays by some of the world's most exciting writers.”


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