Inspired by conversations with and in collaboration with Nastazja Domaradzka, this year the Royal Court launched the NO BORDERS creative programme, designed to interrogate the past, present and future of theatre. In his 1945 poem Polish poet Czesław Miłosz asks ‘what is poetry if it does not save nations or people?’. In 2022, we want to ask: ‘what is theatre if it does not save nations and people?’.

Over the last six months, the participants have formed a collective that sets out to interrogate the politics of theatrical form. From Brecht’s epic theatre to South African theatre of resistance and Polish protest theatre, theatre has played a huge part in opposing various regimes and shaping society’s dreams and yearnings. This programme is dedicated to shaping an urge for change in how and why we make theatre. It is an experiment in news ways of working, offering space and time for the artists involved to interrogate and develop their practice.

The NO BORDERS collective are:

Faizal Abdullah
Natasha Brown
Kayla Feldman
Laura Hopwood
Héctor Manchego
Ann-Maria McCarthy
Alexander Mushore
Naomi Obeng
Martyna Puciato
Cory Shipp
Danaja Wass

Saturday 18 June 2022, 5pm | NO BORDERS’ FEAST ON THE SQUARE

A 3-course meal. A 13-piece dinner. Eaten collectively. Devoured individually. Born on this island. Born outside of it. Arepas soaked in Hungarian stew. A meeting of sorts. A debate. A lost cause hidden under the table, spread on bread, a rage infused hot chocolate lost in the mediocrity of Oxford-approved art.

A feast of sorts amongst friends and audiences. A look in the past to establish the present. A demolition. A question…

What is political theatre?