Caretaker by Hester Chillingworth to run in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs

Published on Fri 8 May 2020

From tonight the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs will be available from 7:30pm (Friday 8 May 2020) for the public to virtually visit Caretaker, a durational installation by Hester Chillingworth (pronouns: they/them), which will run until the theatre can reopen.

Alongside a livestream of the Royal Court’s uninhabited stage, Caretaker will intermittently broadcast witty, playful and supportive audio messages; more often, there will be silence.

No productivity is demanded. Nothing needs to happen and nothing is expected of you. You are, after all, already doing really well.

If you’ve been missing the Royal Court stage, if you’ve never visited it, if you want an intimate experience of it just as it was left, if theatre is the last thing you’re thinking about – there is a space being held for you simply to be, and for that to be enough. Log on wherever you are, whenever you want.

It’s there for you for as long as lockdown continues.

Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre Vicky Featherstone said;

“Hester approached us a few weeks ago with this beautiful idea, an offering, somewhere to think and to look at our empty space. The challenge ahead for us all is immense – theatre and places where people gather to share stories and be entertained are at risk long into the future. The unity we feel when we clap every Thursday is what makes us human and feel alive. Hester is giving us a new space at this time to be in. We don’t know how long it will go on for…

Hester Chillingworth added;

“I’ve been exploring ways to make performances with nobody in for a while now, because I’m really bothered about the assumptions and judgements we project onto bodies when we see them. When lockdown hit it felt to me that we were communally feeling the value and limits of bodies in a renewed way, and that absence was suddenly very present with us all. For me, Caretaker is a piece about carving out space for us all to be in however we want or need to, and that not having to link to productivity in any way. It’s about sharing time and space as materials, not as commodities. It’s about finding new ways of watching and being together or being alone. It’s about the power of slowing down to let stuff emerge.”

Caretaker will available to view via the website any time day or night from 7:30pm Friday 8 May 2020.

The Jerwood Theatre Downstairs is currently set for Shoe Lady by E.V. Crowe, directed by Vicky Featherstone, designed by Chloe Lamford,  which was running when the theatre was forced to close.

For the full press release see here.