Royal Court Theatre - 6 week Open Court festival


Vicky Featherstone, the new Artistic Director of The Royal Court Theatre, has announced Open Court - a six week festival (10 June – 20 July 2013) of plays, ideas and events chosen and suggested by a group of over 140 writers. (Vicky Featherstone's first full season of plays, which start in September 2013, will be announced in June. )

Open Court will include a weekly repertory company, performing a different new play each week; a surprise theatre experience; a chance to hear a Royal Court playwright read aloud one of their plays; a nightly soap opera in Peckham; a weekly big idea, exploring sex, age, death, collaboration, European austerity and a week of workshops, plays and events for 8-11 year olds and their families. Alongside Open Court, Theatre Local continues with two plays outside the building.

The Open Court Festival of events include...

Weekly Rep (Tue-Sat, 11 June-20 July) Six new plays in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs in six weeks with one company of 14 actors and four directors. The President Has Come To See You by Lasha Bughadze, translated by Donald Rayfield (11 - 15 June) An absurd comedy about cowardice and power. Georgia is at war. Again. And the President can’t cope. So he abandons his post and flees into the city to hide in the homes of his unsuspecting civilians. Death Tax by Lucas Hnath (18 - 22 June) A darkly comic play about death and taxes, and how we must live with both. 80 year old Maxine is convinced her daughter is paying Nurse Tina to bump her off before an impending tax deadline. Pigeons by Suhayla El-Bushra (25 - 29 June) An insight into the reality of growing up in an apparently multicultural society. Mint by Clare Lizzimore (2 - 6 July) A portrayal of a man struggling to keep his head above water. Untitled Matriarch Play by Nikole Beckwith (9 - 13 July) On the eve of her 55th birthday Lorraine gathers her five daughters around her and announces a new sibling is on the way. Utterly sick of her daughters she is determined to have a son...by surrogate. Talk Show by Alistair McDowall (16 - 20 July) Sam runs a daily talk show from his basement bedroom. Upstairs his Dad and Grandad barely speak, but keep in touch through the baby monitor. With the return of Sam’s wayward uncle can this peculiar form of domestic harmony stay uninterrupted?

Surprise Theatre (Mon & tues 10 June to 16 July in Theatre Upstairs). There will be a different surprise performance from a diverse and wide-ranging field of writers and theatre-makers; each creating a one-off performance, which will remain a mystery to its audience right up until the lights go down. Each surprise will be performed twice-nightly and the second performance will be live-streamed and available to view for the duration of the festival.

Theatre Local - The Royal Court’s Theatre Local project will continue in Summer 2013 with two new plays outside the building. Theatre Local aims to take plays to alternative spaces. Circle Mirror Transformation By Annie Baker, 5 July to 3 Aug, at the Rose Lipman Building, near Haggerston, north London, directed by James Macdonald, and starring Toby Jones, Imelda Staunton. Five lost people come together at a community centre class to try and find some meaning in their lives. Counting to ten can be harder than you think. The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart , a National Theatre of Scotland production, created by David Greig (Writer) and Wils Wilson (Director), from 12 July to 3 Aug at the London Welsh Centre, near King's Cross, and then CLF Theatre, Bussey Building, in Peckham, south London, 5 to 9 Aug. One wintry morning Prudencia Hart, an uptight academic, sets off to attend a conference in Kelso, in the Scottish Borders. As the snow begins to fall, little does she know who or what awaits her there. Inspired by the Border Ballads – and delivered in a riotous romp of rhyming couplets, devilish encounters and wild karaoke – Prudencia’s dream-like journey of self-discovery unfolds among and around the audience.

Other events include...

Playwright @ Your Table (Sat, 15 June – 13 July) A Royal Court playwright reads you their play in a secret location around the building.

Lost in Theatre (Daily, 10 June – 20 July) A theatrical treasure-hunt. Ten new plays hidden around the Royal Court. Pick up some headphones and listen in.

Found Plays (Throughout the festival) Discovered, uncovered, captured, or overheard, the Royal Court will be searching for Found Plays in all guises.

Soap Opera (1-13 July) A soap opera written and created by Royal Court playwrights, performed in nightly five minute episodes at the Bussey Building in Peckham, culminating in a live omnibus edition.

The Big Idea: Friday nights (Fri 14, 21 June & 12 July) exploring the big themes of Sex, Age and Death including plays, talks and late night events in the Cafe Bar.

The Big Idea: PIIGS (25-29 June) Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain. Working with international and UK playwrights to explore the five countries in the European Union that have been hit hardest by European austerity, including verbatim conversations reported, translated and put on stage within 24 hours of them happening.

The Big Idea: Collaboration (4-6 July) Six writers will work with writer and director Anthony Neilson to explore collaboration through his unique devising style in the rehearsal room.

The Big Idea: Kids Court (16-20 July) A week of plays, workshops and special events curated by young playwrights aged 8-11.

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