Royal Court's New Season to Include Premieres of Plays by David Eldridge, Joe Penhall, Nick Payne and More

News   Royal Court's New Season to Include Premieres of Plays by David Eldridge, Joe Penhall, Nick Payne and More
 
The Royal Court's new season, running  January-June 2012, will include premieres of plays by David Eldridge, Joe Penhall, Nick Payne and Bola Agbaje amongst others, with actors that include Linda Bassett, Debbie Chazen, Ruth Sheen, Stephen Mangan and Rafe Spall.

The Royal Court will also present a new production of Mike Bartlett's Love Love Love that has previously toured, and Katie Mitchell returns to the Royal Court to direct a new project on the environment and its future with scientist Professor Stephen Emmott.

In the mainhouse Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, the season will comprise David Eldridge's In Basildon, Mike Bartlett's Love Love Love and Joe Penhall's Birthday. In the studio Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, the season will comprise Nick Payne's Constellations, Luke Norris' Goodbye to All That, Hayley Squires' Vera Vera Vera, Bola Agbaje's Belong and Vivienne Franzmann's The Witness.

In Basildon will begin performances Feb. 16, prior to an official opening Feb. 22, for a run through Feb. 24. David Eldridge, whose Under the Blue Sky originally premiered at the Royal Court and subsequently revived in a new production in the West End with Orlando Bloom, was last represented on the London stage by Knot of the Heart at the Almeida and The Stock D'wa at Hampstead Theatre. According to press materials, the new play is an epic family drama exploring inheritance and the myth of place. Dominic Cooke, the Royal Court's artistic director, directs a cast that includes Linda Bassett, Debbie Chazen, Christian Dixon, Lee Ross, Ruth Sheen and Jade Williams.

Love Love Love will begin performances April 27, prior to an official opening May 3, for a run through June 2. Originally produced in October 2010 in a co-production between Paines Plough and Plymouth's Drum Theatre, it is to be staged in a new production by its original director James Grieve. In a press statement, Grieve and his co-artistic director George Perrin commented, "Following a hugely successful national tour, we are thrilled to be working with the Royal Court to produce Mike Bartlett’s outstanding play in London. Mike's viciously funny and affectionately tender portrait of the lives and loves of a single family spans 40 years, and paints a vivid picture of our rapidly changing society. It's a dazzling and important play, and the Royal Court is the perfect home for it." Bartlett has previously been represented at the Royal Court by the premieres there of Cock, Contractions and My Child. He is currently represented at the National Theatre by 13, where his previous play Earthquakes in London also debuted.

Birthday will begin performances June 22, prior to an official opening June 28, for a run through Aug. 4. Roger Michell, who most recently directed Tribes at the Royal Court and whose previous productions include My Night with Reg there, directs a cast that includes Stephen Mangan, last seen at the Royal Court in The People Are Friendly and whose other credits include The Norman Conquests at the Old Vic and on Broadway. Penhall will be represented at the Royal Court next by Haunted Child, premiering in December; his other Royal Court credits include Some Voices and Dumb Show. In Birthday, Lisa and Ed (Mangan) are having another baby. Determined to do things differently this time, it's proving a bumpy ride. This is a whole new birth plan. In the Theatre Upstairs, Nick Payne's Constellations will begin performances Jan. 13, prior to an offiical opening Jan. 19, for a run through Feb. 11. Michael Longhurst directs Rafe Spall, last seen at the Royal Court in I Alaska, in a play that is described as being about free will and friendship.

It is followed by the premiere of actor-turned-writer Luke Norris' debut play Goodbye to All That, beginning performances Feb. 23, prior to an official opening Feb. 27 for a run through March 17, as part of the Royal Court's annual Young Writers Festival. The play, which asks if it's ever too late to start again, will be directed by Simon Godwin, who was recently appointed full-time associate director at the theatre.

Vera Vera Vera, by Hayley Squires, another actor turned debut playwright, will begin performances March 22 prior to an official opening March 26, for a run through April 14, also as part of the Young Writers Festival. Joe McInnes directs a play that is described as looking at violence, neglect and apathy in the wake of another young soldier’s death in Afghanistan.

Belong begins performances April 26, prior to an official opening May 2, for a run through May 26. Playwright Bola Agbaje was last represented at the Royal Court by Off the Endz; her debut play there, Gone Too Far in 2007, won an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement. Co-produced with British African theatre company Tiata Fahodzi, the play is set between England and Nigera and questions how we define our notion of home. It is directed by Indhu Rubasingham.

The Witness by Vivienne Franzmann begins performances June 1, prior to an official opening June 8, for a run through June 30. Simon Godwin directs a play that is described as a thriller of morals. It is Franzmann's second play; her first, Mogadishu, won the Bruntwood Playwriting Competition and the George Devine Award in 2010, and was seen at Manchester's Royal Exchange and London's Lyric Hammersmith.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7565 5000, or visit www.royalcourttheatre.com.

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