In 2016 the Royal Court Theatre celebrates its 60th birthday by looking towards the future. The new season includes six world premieres, five UK and worldwide collaborations, one European premiere, a major collaboration with LIFT, a partnership with Picturehouse Cinemas, the return of Open Court and ongoing work in Tottenham and Pimlico.
- Caryl Churchill starts the year with ESCAPED ALONE, a new play directed by James Macdonald in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Thursday 21 January – Saturday 12 March 2016.
- Royal Court Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone directs Alistair McDowall’s new play X in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Wednesday 30 March – Saturday 7 May 2016.
- The Royal Court involved in UK partnership with Schaubühne Berlin for OPHELIAS ZIMMER, a new project directed by Katie Mitchell and designed by Royal Court Artistic Associate Chloe Lamford with text by Alice Birch. Jerwood Theatre Downstairs Tuesday 17 May – Saturday 21 May 2016. The Royal Court Theatre in association with Schaubühne Berlin.
- Anthony Neilson returns to the Royal Court with his new play UNREACHABLE which will premiere in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Friday 1 July – Saturday 6 August 2016.
- Suzan-Lori Parks returns to the Royal Court with a new production of her plays FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1,2 & 3) directed by Jo Bonney, Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Thursday 15 September – Saturday 22 October 2016.
- After a celebrated run in Manchester, Anna Jordan’s Bruntwood award winning play YEN, directed by Ned Bennett transfers to the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Friday 22 January – Saturday 13 February 2016. A Royal Court Theatre and Royal Exchange Theatre Production.
- South African playwright Mongiwekhaya’s debut Royal Court play I SEE YOU, directed by Noma Dumezweni, premieres in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Thursday 25 February – Saturday 26 March 2016. A Royal Court Theatre and Market Theatre, Johannesburg production, which will tour to Johannesburg after its UK run.
- David Ireland makes his Royal Court debut with his new play, CYPRUS AVENUE, in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs. The production opens at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin in February then tours to the Royal Court Tuesday 5 April – Saturday 7 May 2016. Royal Court Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone directs. A Royal Court Theatre and the Abbey Theatre production.
- Stef Smith’s Royal Court debut HUMAN ANIMALS, a new play directed by Royal Court Associate Director Hamish Pirie premieres in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Wednesday 18 May – Saturday 18 June 2016.
- Charlene James makes her Royal Court debut with CUTTIN’ IT, directed by Gbolahan Obisesan, which will play in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Friday 24 June – Saturday 9 July 2016. A Royal Court / Young Vic co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Sheffield Theatres and The Yard Theatre.
- Nathaniel Martello-White’s Royal Court debut play TORN will premiere in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Wednesday 7 September – Saturday 15 October 2016.
- The Royal Court Theatre partners with LIFT for a month of work in collaboration with international communities, including a co-commission of THE ISLANDS by Argentinian artist Lola Arias, OPEN FOR EVERYTHING by Constanza Macras/DorkyPark and the Migration Commissions, a series of works from international artists on the theme of migration and displacement – a response to the refugee and migrant crisis. Dates to be announced.
- TOLD FROM THE INSIDE new plays exploring accounts of exile, displacement and survival developed through a project with emerging Lebanese and Syrian writers, presented in workshop performances.
- As part of the Royal Court’s inclusive programme of activities for young people up to age 21, YOUNG COURT launches the ROYAL COURT YOUTH BOARD, YOUTH THEATRE, the YOUNG PEOPLE’S SCRIPT PANEL, OPEN COURT, and returning for a third year – PRIMETIME which will tour to schools in north and south London.
- ROYAL COURT: PIMLICO AND TOTTENHAM sees second year of a three-year residency in SW1V and N17.
- The Royal Court Theatre partners with Picturehouse Cinemas for ROYAL COURT ON SCREEN – a season of gala screenings of productions which have gone from stage to screen to mark the 60th anniversary.
- THE BIG IDEA continues with a programme of talks, debates and workshops exploring the work on stage. The Royal Court has now presented over 60 Big Idea events live and online to a global audience.
Commenting on the new season Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone said:
“In 1956 George Devine founded the Royal Court. He called for a theatre ‘where the experimentalists of the modern era may be seen’, with ‘hard-hitting, uncompromising writers’, where ‘their works are stimulating, provocative and exciting’, not ‘bringing the dramatist of the past into focus for the present’, but giving attention to the future.
“60 years on the Royal Court is still striving to do the very same thing. The programme encompasses the very best in writing for theatre, with a new full-length play by Caryl Churchill, a new piece by Anthony Neilson, a new play by Alistair McDowall and a return to the Royal Court from Suzan-Lori Parks as well as new writers debuting at the Royal Court for the first time – among them David Ireland, Charlene James, Anna Jordan, Nathaniel Martello-White, Mongiwekhaya and Stef Smith.
“Responding as ever to the writers, our work is challenging and ambitious and looks to our collective futures. This is undoubtedly among one of the most internationally outward-looking years the Royal Court has ever seen. With collaborations including the Schaubühne Berlin, the Abbey Theatre, the Market Theatre Johannesburg and LIFT; as well as meaningful projects about refugees and migration, we are thinking hard about our place in the world.
“I am delighted too that our programme for young people, Young Court, is being launched in this year. We are thrilled to be bringing back Open Court – only this time young people will have the keys.
“The Royal Court has been unique for 60 years – I look forward to launching it into the next 60.”