The Royal Court Theatre presents
Ding Dong the Wicked
1 October - 13 October 2012
Jerwood Theatre Downstairs
Tickets: £10, £8 concessions
“There’s nothing I inherited except my father’s hair and his lefthandedness.
Everything I got I earned.”
A child is shut in her room, a dog is dead in the road, someone is kissing her brother in law. A family locked in hatred is sending a son to war.
And meanwhile in another country…
Ding Dong the Wicked, a new short play by Caryl Churchill will run in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court between 1 and 13 October as an addition to the Royal Court’s autumn season.
The thirty minute play will be directed by Royal Court Artistic Director, Dominic Cooke and take place around the evening’s performance of Caryl Churchill’s main stage play Love and Information, with matinee and late night showings on certain days.
“It’s been 40 years since the Royal Court first staged a play by Caryl Churchill and in that time she has led the way in reinventing our notion of what a play can be. Ding Dong the Wicked is as fresh and unusual as anything she’s written and while it differs from Love and Information in content and form, to see both plays in one night will be an inspiring evening. This is the fourth play of Caryl’s that I’ve directed and I can’t wait”. Dominic Cooke
Caryl Churchill is one of the UK’s most influential playwrights and her association with the Royal Court dates back to 1972 with her play Owners. Her plays at the Royal Court include Seven Jewish Children, Drunk Enough to Say I Love You, Top Girls, This is a Chair, Far Away, A Number, Cloud Nine, Serious Money and this season, Love and Information.
Artistic Director of the Royal Court Dominic Cooke directs. His recent credits at the Court include In Basildon, Chicken Soup with Barley, for which he was nominated for an Evening Standard Award, and the multi award-winning production of Clybourne Park for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award. He will also be directing Choir Boy by Tarell Alvin McCraney and In the Republic of Happiness by Martin Crimp this season.
Running time: 30 minutes
*Booking for Friends and Supporters opens on Tue 4 Sep at 1pm.
General Booking opens on Wed 5 Sep at 1pm.*
Select a Date
Dates in October
|Mon 1 Oct 2012||6:30pm||Preview||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10. Day seats available|
|Tue 2 Oct 2012||6:30pm||Preview||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10|
|Wed 3 Oct 2012||6:30pm||Preview||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10|
|Thu 4 Oct 2012||4:00pm||Mid-Week Matinee||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10|
|Thu 4 Oct 2012||10:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10|
|Fri 5 Oct 2012||6:30pm||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10|
|Sat 6 Oct 2012||4:00pm||Saturday Matinees||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10|
|Sat 6 Oct 2012||10:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10|
|Mon 8 Oct 2012||6:30pm||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10. Day seats available|
|Tue 9 Oct 2012||6:30pm||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10|
|Wed 10 Oct 2012||6:30pm||Captioned Performance||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10|
|Thu 11 Oct 2012||4:15pm||Mid-Week Matinee||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10|
|Thu 11 Oct 2012||10:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10|
|Fri 12 Oct 2012||6:30pm||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10|
|Sat 13 Oct 2012||4:15pm||Audio Described Performance, Saturday Matinees||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10|
|Sat 13 Oct 2012||10:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs||£10|
Sold out Performances
£10, £8 concessions
A Young Woman Carrying a Flower/ A Young Woman with a Cigarette
A Pale Young Man / A Speedy Young Man
An Overweight Man / A Man Who is A Wreck
A Woman in Blue / A Drunk Woman
A Quiet Man /A Man Who Bites His Nails
A Woman Who Bites/ A Woman with a Limp
4 stars Whats On Stage by Michael Coveney, 04 October 2012
Playing on certain days before and after her own brilliant Love and Information, Caryl Churchill’s 20-minute drama is not an add-on or a post-script; it’s a tense, troubled game of two halves, in separate countries, with identical dialogue.
The characters change, but are played by the same cast on the same white set, with a national flag. A doorbell rings, the door opens, a man is shot, body dumped in a black bin liner. Same ring, drunken woman enters her own home.
Both households are “celebrating” a soldier going to war. A woman is locked inside. The trees are being destroyed. Our way of life is threatened. First a man, then a woman, worked for everything they have. A marriage is breaking up. An affair is underway. The vodka flows.
Dominic Cooke’s production is a nationalist epic in shorthand, and deeply upsetting to watch. Each half ends with the group watching the death of a dictator (is he?) on television. The adoption of one character’s lines by another shifts the whole social pressure of the scene, and the tenor of attitudes to love, country and sacrifice.
In a lesser writer, and with lesser actors, this would come across as trivial or trite. With Churchill – and with this terrific, unwavering sextet of John Marquez, Sophie Stanton, Claire Foy, Stuart McQuarrie, Jennie Stoller and Daniel Kendrick – the play kicks in big time and detonates slowly inside your skull as you leave the building. 4 stars Time Out by Andrzej Lukowski, 5 October 2012
The ‘Ding Dong’ of Caryl Churchill’s 20-minute new new play (which is running alongside her old new play, ‘Love and Information’) isn’t a person and it isn’t wicked. It’s a blameless doorbell, which begs entry to the two near-identical suburban living rooms that form the setting for the play’s mirrorlike halves.
Or if Ding Dong is wicked, it’s because it reminds us that there really is an outside world beyond these domestic scenes, which take place in households whose sons are fighting on apparently opposing sides in an ill-defined conflict that their families watch on telly as if it were a competitive sport.
The play’s sentiments, about the repetitive nature and detached banality of modern violence, aren’t radical. But as ever, Churchill’s mastery of language is key: in the second half she reassigns and reassembles the dialogue from the first, both sardonically stressing similarities between the sides and creating a bona fide new set of characters in a quietly audacious linguistic experiment.
‘Ding Dong’ borders on the harrowing, especially at the climax to each scene, where the family gathers round the box to loudly enjoy an execution. But it also has a streak of black humour a mile wide, most notable at the start of the first scene, in which a slobbish figure in an easy chair answers the door by unquestioningly shooting the bell-ringer and laboriously stuffing him into a plastic sack. And there is vivid, unshowy work from director Dominic Cooke’s excellent cast of six who take two characters apiece.
It’s short, yes, but so was some of Pinter’s best work – and this has all the unsettling force and chilly perfection of his ‘One for the Road’. It’s hard to imagine there’s anything better to do with 20 minutes of your time this week.
3 stars Evening Standard by Henry Hitchings, 05 October 2012
The title of this tiny play by Caryl Churchill prompts thoughts of The Wizard of Oz. But we are a world away here from Munchkins and ruby slippers.
In the first half of its 20 minutes (yes, you read that right), we are in a living room in a nameless country. A fatal shooting is followed by patriotic talk, bickering and hints of an affair — all elliptically conveyed.
In the second half we’re in another nameless country; the characters are different but the actors are the same, and the first half’s dialogue is repeated — except with the sequence completely changed.
In each half a family is sending one of its members off to war. Vodka flows freely. A dictator’s overthrow is aggressively celebrated.
The audience marvels at the links between the two sections. What it all means is food for later reflection, but as always Churchill seems inventive, coolly socialist, bleak yet dazzling, a bit of a shaman. Although her technique sounds gimmicky, it works.
Dominic Cooke’s taut production makes the experience unsettling and features nice performances from a cast of six that includes Claire Foy and a brooding John Marquez.
Ding Dong the Wicked will function best, I think, as an early evening amuse-bouche, a tasty morsel to get your juices flowing before tucking into something meatier.
Mon 1 Oct, 6:30pm
Tue 2 Oct, 6:30pm
Wed 3 Oct, 6:30pm
Thu 4 Oct, 4:00pm
Thu 11 Oct, 4:15pm
Sat 6 Oct, 4:00pm
Sat 13 Oct, 4:15pm
Wed 10 Oct, 6:30pm
|Audio Described Performance||
Sat 13 Oct, 4:15pm
See the Dates & Tickets tab for all dates.