Royal Court Theatre reopening

The Royal Court Theatre to reopen with ‘Living Newspaper’

UPDATED: 1 December. Six weekly editions of live newspapers will be performed around the building from December.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

The Royal Court Theatre will reopen its doors to a series of socially-distanced live performances, it has been announced. Collectively named Living Newspaper: A Counter Narrative, the productions will see live newspapers come together, complete with headlines, features and columns that allow communities to express ideas about the world they live in.

Living Newspaper is inspired by the history of the Federal Theatre Project, a twentieth-century American arts programme that became an important form of expression for unemployed artists.

Commenting on the venue's reopening, Royal Court Theatre Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone said: "I first learnt about The Federal Theatre Project when I was 18. It galvanised me then about theatre as a force for change and stuck with me over the years. One day during lockdown I remembered it and how vital it had been not only for saving the theatre industry after the Great Depression but for encouraging those previously underrepresented and for speaking truth to power with celebration and joy... The aims of Living Newspaper are quite simple, to give as many people as possible work, to bring our theatre back to life and to create something which is urgent, dynamic, political and disruptive - acknowledging the hugely changed and changing times."

Episode one is written by Miriam Battye, Amir Gudarzi, Nazareth Hassan,  Matilda Ibini, Sonia Jalaly, Jasmine Lee-Jones, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Somalia Nonyé Seaton, Katherine Soper, Chris Thorpe, Temi Wilkey and Daniel York Loh. 

The cast is completed by Michele Austin, Natalie Dew, Georgie Fellows, Zainab Hasan, Camille Mallet de Chauny, Rebekah Murrell, Amaka Okafor, Kimberley Okoye, Alexzandra Sarmiento, Irfan Shamji, Sophie Stone, Ragevan Vasan and Danny Lee Wynter.

Performances of Living Newspaper will take place on Thursdays from 10 Dec. 2020 until March 2021. Audiences will be able to attend live performances, as well as experiencing each edition online at home.

As well as Living Newspaper, the theatre will also begin Living Archive, exploring plays from the Royal Court's history in order to create a complete account of the venue, asking who will hold the narrative going forward.

Photo credit: (Courtesy of Wikipedia under CC 4.0 and Royal Court Theatre)

Originally published on

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