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Court Premieres Work by Williams, Wade, Agbaje

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The Royal Court’s spring 2010 season, announced today (21 October 2009), will include new work by leading playwrights Roy Williams, Laura Wade, Nick Grosso and Bola Agbaje, as well as second plays by DC Moore and Anupama Chandrasekhar and a debut from 17-year-old Anya Reiss.

Commenting on the programme, which emphasises rising female (four of the seven world premieres are written by women) and in-house nurtured authors, artistic director Dominic Cooke said: “As the world finds its way through financial crisis and the nation faces a general election, this season our writers ask how far we have really come in terms of our ability to move within the class structure... Our playwrights represent a huge range of experience, from 17-year-old Anya Reiss ... to the prolific Roy Williams and Nick Grosso who we first produced over 15 years ago. It is striking, however, that they are all united by their shared experience of coming through the Royal Court’s unparalleled writing courses. I am delighted to present such a strong stable of homegrown talent.”

In the main house

The Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs spring programme comprises:

  • Off the Endz, 16 February-13 March 2010 (previews from 11 February) - In Bola Agbaje’s play, twenty-somethings David, Kojo and Sharon, who all grew up on a London estate, are eyeing another kind of life, but are struggling to choose the right path, with financial debts mounting and temptations all around. Agbaje won the this year’s Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement for her debut play Gone Too Far!, premiered in the Royal Court Upstairs.
  • Posh, 15 April-22 May 2010 (previews from 9 April) - Ten young bloods with cut-glass vowels and deep pockets gather in an oak-panelled room in Oxford to enjoy a wild night of debauchery and plan a takeover to restore their right to rule. Author Laura Wade won the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright for Breathing Corpses, which ran Upstairs in 2005. Her other credits include Other Hands, Colder Than Here and the forthcoming Alice, a response to Lewis Carroll, which premieres at Sheffield Crucible next summer (See News, 23 Sep 2009). Lyndsey Turner directs Posh, the first main stage production to have been wholly generated through the Court’s Rough Cuts Programme for developing new work.
  • Sucker Punch, 18 June-24 July 2010 (previews from 11 June) - In Roy Williams’ latest, two former friends, black British champ Leon and American powerhouse Troy, step into the boxing ring in an examination of what it was like to be young and black in the Eighties. As with Williams’ highly acclaimed Fallout in 2003, the Downstairs auditorium will be reconfigured for Sacha Wares’ premiere production of Sucker Punch. Williams’ many other plays include Clubland, Joe Guy, Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads and Category B, just opened at the Tricycle Theatre as part of the “Not Black and White” season there (See News, 11 Aug 2009).
  • In the studio

    The Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs spring programme comprises:

  • Disconnect, 22 February-20 March 2010 (previews from 17 February) - Indhu Rubsingham directs Chennai-based Anupama Chandrasekhar’s play set in an Indian call centre where the workers are renamed as they work to claw back money from Americans with maxed-out credits cards. Discovered and developed through the theatre’s international department, Chandrasekhar had her first play, Free Outgoing, premiered Upstairs in 2007 and transferred Downstairs last year.
  • The Empire, 8 April-1 May 2010 (previews from 31 March) - DC Moore’s second play, which follows his 2007 Upstairs play Alaska, is set in Helmand where a British soldier and his Afghan colleague have different approaches to guarding an injured prisoner. Former Bush artistic director Mike Bradwell directs.
  • Ingredient X, 26 May-19 June 2010 (previews from 20 May) - Nick Grosso’s new comedy concerns addition to Saturday night TV competitions like The X Factor. Since Grosso’s monologue Mama Don’t was produced by the Court in 1993, his plays for the theatre have included Peaches, Sweetheart, Real Classy Affair and Kosher Harry.
  • Spur of the Moment, 20 July-14 August 2010 (previews from 14 July) - The Upstairs season ends with a beginning: the playwriting debut of 17-year-old Anya Reiss, who began attending Royal Court holiday courses at the age of 14. Pre-teen Delilah likes High School Musical, swim parties and ogling the lodger. While her parents throw verbal grenades at one another, they barely notice their 21-year-old tenant starting to notice her. Spur of the Moment is directed by Jeremy Herrin, who also directed Polly Stenham’s multi award-winning 2005 debut That Face, which was written when she was just 19.
  • Beyond Sloane Square

    In addition to the above programme, the new year will, as previously reported, see two of this autumn’s productions – Lucy Prebble’s Enron and Jez Butterworth’s Jersualem transfer to the West End’s Apollo and Noel Coward theatres respectively.

    And internationally next year, Polly Stenham’s That Face receives its US premiere at New York’s Manhattan Theatre Club in March, following runs in Scotland, Australia, Spain and Belgium with four further international productions scheduled; and Alexi Kaye Campbell’s multi award-winning debut The Pride opens at the MCC Theater in New York, directed by Joe Mantello with a cast featuring Britons Hugh Dancy, Andrea Riseborough and Ben Whishaw.


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