In addition, the Royal Court will celebrate the life and work of its late president and chairman, Sir John Mortimer, in an evening entitled John Mortimer at the Court… and Later at the Bar, to be held on Nov. 15. The work of new writers that the theatre's international department has been working in Nigeria with since 2006 will be showcased in a presentation and seminar to be held Oct. 31.
In a press statement, artistic director Dominic Cooke commented, "This season sees the Royal Court doing exactly what we are here to do – producing provocative new plays by exciting young writers, asking essential questions about the world we live in, celebrating its joys and exploring its contradictions. In troubled times, the need to come together and share our experiences becomes stronger than ever, which is why it is so thrilling to see four of Britain's most exciting writers engage with the world, personally and politically."
The season will be launched in the main house Jerwood Theatre Downstairs by the previously announced transfer of Lucy Prebble's Enron from Chichester's Minerva Theatre, beginning performances Sept. 17 (prior to an official opening Sept. 22), for a run to Nov. 7. According to press materials, the play re-imagines the story of the collapse of one of America's highest-profile financial institutions, and the repercussions it still has on today's financial turmoil. Co-produced with Chichester Festival Theatre and Headlong Theatre, it is directed by Headlong's artistic director Rupert Goold. Prebble is a former member of the Royal Court's Young Writers Programme and winner of the George Devine award for her debut play Sugar Syndrome, which premiered at the Royal Court in 2004. The cast includes Amanda Drew, Tom Goodman-Hill, Tim Pigott-Smith and Samuel West.
Enron will be followed in the main house by The Priory, the seventh play by Michael Wynne (who made his breakthrough at the Royal Court Young Writers Festival with The Knocky in 1994). It begins performances Nov. 19 (prior to an official opening Nov. 26), for a run to Jan. 9, 2010. According to press materials, the play puts under the microscope the lives of a group of successful thirty-somethings during their New Year's Eve celebrations at a converted rural priory. It charts the increasingly obvious cracks in their seemingly perfect lives. Jeremy Herrin, who has been newly appointed as the theatre's deputy artistic director, will direct. He has previously directed Polly Stenham's two plays, That Face and Tusk Tusk, at the Court, and the British premiere of David Hare's The Vertical Hour there.
In the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, the season will open with Tim Crouch's The Author, beginning performances Sept. 23 (prior to an official opening Sept. 29) for a run to Oct. 24. It is described in press materials as a formally inventive piece which takes the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs as its setting, and explores how far the artist, or indeed the audience, is prepared to go in the name of Art. Crouch, whose sixth play this is, will appear in it under the direction of Karl James. Mike Bartlett's Cock follows, beginning performances Nov. 13, (prior to an official opening Nov. 18), for a run to Dec. 19. Described as a challenging look at the categorizations of sexuality, it features a young man who leaves his boyfriend only to find the woman of his dreams. Now he must choose between them. Like Lucy Prebble and Michael Wynne, Mike Bartlett is a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme. This is his third play in three years for the Royal Court following last year's Contractions and 2007's My Child.
Tickets for Enron are already on public sale. Tickets for all other shows in the new season go on sale to Friends and Donors on June 9 and to the general public on June 11. To book, contact the box office at 020 7565 5000 or visit www.royalcourttheatre.com.