The Royal Court Theatre announces its new season of work - February to September 2017

Published on Mon 31 Oct 2016
  • The new season includes eight world premieres, four UK and international collaborations, the return of a seminal Royal Court play and a new podcast series.

In chronological order;

  • debbie tucker green opens the season with A PROFOUNDLY AFFECTIONATE, PASSIONATE DEVOTION TO SOMEONE (-NOUN), written and directed by debbie tucker green premiering in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Tuesday 28 February 2017 – Saturday 1 April 2017.
  • In a major collaboration Simon McBurney directs THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE, based on the life of Robert Evans, co-produced with Patrick Milling Smith, Barbara Broccoli, Michael Wilson, Brian Carmody and in association with Complicite. It will premiere in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Tuesday 7 March 2017 – Saturday 8 April 2017.
  • Royal Court Associate Playwright Simon StephensNUCLEAR WAR directed by Imogen Knight will premiere at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Wednesday 19 April 2017 – Saturday 6 May 2017.
  • Jez Butterworth returns to the Royal Court with his new play THE FERRYMAN directed by Sam Mendes, who makes his Royal Court debut. Developed by and co-produced with Sonia Friedman Productions and in association with Neal Street Productions, it will premiere in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Monday 24 April 2017 – Saturday 20 May 2017.
  • The transfer of Royal Court commission MANWATCHING written by an anonymous woman. It was first presented by the Royal Court in the Paines Plough Roundabout at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015 and will run in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Wednesday 10 May – Saturday 20 May 2017.
  • Gary Owen returns to the Royal Court with KILLOLOGY directed by Rachel O’Riordan in a co-production with the Sherman Theatre, in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Thursday 25 May 2017 – Saturday 24 June 2017.
  • Alice Birch’s first Jerwood Theatre Downstairs play at the Royal Court ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE will be directed by Katie Mitchell. It will premiere in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Saturday 3 June 2017 – Saturday 8 July 2017. See full details here.
  • Jim Cartwright’s game-changing play ROAD which opened at the Royal Court in 1986 will be directed in a new production by Royal Court Associate Director John Tiffany. It premieres in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Friday 21 July 2017 – Saturday 9 September 2017.
  • Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón makes his Royal Court debut with B, directed by Royal Court Associate Director (International) Sam Pritchard in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs. To run September 2017. Dates to be announced.
  • Chris Thorpe‘s new play VICTORY CONDITION directed by Royal Court Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone will run at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs in September 2017. Dates to be announced.
  • This autumn Royal Court Theatre to release new series ROYAL COURT PLAYWRIGHT’S PODCAST with playwrights interviewed by Royal Court Associate Playwright Simon Stephens. In this first series writers include April de Angelis, Rachel De-lahey, Tanika Gupta, David Hare, Robert Holman, Dennis Kelly, Alistair McDowall, Anthony Neilson, Joe Penhall, Lucy Prebble, Anya Reiss, Polly Stenham and Enda Walsh. Podcast release schedule to be announced. 
  • Tickets for the new season go on sale to Friends on Wednesday 2 November 2016 and to the general public on Friday 4 November 2016. 020 7565 5000 /

Commenting on the new season Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone said;

I am humbled and thrilled to be announcing such a varied and exciting mixture of work from playwrights and theatre-makers at the top of their game, pushing the limits of their potential to challenge, surprise and provoke us.This is the Royal Court at its best – a place for attracting some of the great playwrights and theatre-makers of our times to experiment and take risks to give us, the audience, the most extraordinary experiences possible.

When debbie tucker green writes a new play it is always cause for celebration and a profoundly affectionate, passionate devotion to someone (-noun), is a tender, thoughtful and painful exploration of how long we can love each other for. Simon McBurney will explore and bring the life of American film producer Robert Evans to the stage with his playfulness with form and story-telling.

Simon Stephens is handing over his play about sex and death to choreographer Imogen Knight in her directorial debut at the Royal Court for an interpretation of the text starting from a physical and visual perspective and continues our exploration of what writing for theatre is and can be. And we are of course beyond thrilled that Jez Butterworth’s new play The Ferryman, developed by and in a co-production with Sonia Friedman – a mighty family epic with generations of one family crammed into its dynamic world – is here at the Royal Court. And we welcome Sam Mendes in his directorial debut here. 

Manwatching, the play by an anonymous woman exploring female desire and sexuality read out cold by a male comedian, caused a brilliant stir at the Edinburgh festival and I am delighted it is coming back for a run at the Royal Court.

Alice Birch in her first full length original play, Anatomy of a Suicide, at the Royal Court has written a heart-breaking complex and startling play about three generations of women struggling for breath and she will continue her collaboration with Katie Mitchell who will direct this.

John Tiffany and Jim Cartwright seem a match made in heaven as the seminal Road returns to the Royal Court in a new production befitting of its status as a defining play of the 80’s generation.

It is wonderful to have Gary Owen back here too in a co-production with the Sherman in Cardiff directed by Rachel O’Riordan. I directed Gary’s first and second plays at Paines Plough and am so pleased he is finally getting the recognition he deserves as one of the leading voices of our nation.

Our podcast series, Royal Court Playwright’s Podcast, hosted by Simon Stephens makes for an honest insight into the work and ambitions of some of the world’s leading playwrights.

And finally kicking off what will be a revolutionary autumn (watch this space) we are announcing Chilean Playwright Guillermo Calderon’s B directed by Associate Director (International) Sam Pritchard as part of International Playwrights: A Genesis Foundation Project and I will be directing the thrilling Victory Condition by theatre-maker and activist Chris Thorpe. Both pieces in different ways examine our relationship with the rest of the world.

We will be continuing our Young Court work and also our projects in Tottenham and Pimlico with Beyond the Court.”

  • Casting to be announced.

To access the full press release click here