Royal Court Theatre announces programme of new work in 2023 - 2024Published on Mon 20 Mar 2023
Productions in chronological order of opening:
NO I.D. by Tatenda Shamiso – a Tatenda Shamiso Arts production
Hope has a Happy Meal by Tom Fowler
Cuckoo by Michael Wynne – a Royal Court Theatre production in partnership with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse
Word-Play by Rabiah Hussain
Dana H. by Lucas Hnath – a Goodman Theatre, Center Theatre Group and Vineyard Theatre production
Living Archive, a digital platform supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Digital Accelerator for Arts and Culture. It will hold information on over 1600 plays put on Royal Court Stages from its beginning in 1956 to the present.
Machloket, a storytelling project created with Jewish community groups across the UK. Working in partnership with Jewish artists Nick Cassenbaum, Tash Hyman and community storytelling company take stock exchange the project will create a nationwide conversation, exploring what it means to be Jewish in the UK today.
Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre, said:
“We are absolutely thrilled to be announcing this varied and beautiful season of work. All the writers and projects are questioning in very different ways our need for community, a need to belong and be understood, a place which holds us. Added to that we are finally able to give the first opportunity in our amazing history at the Royal Court to create and open up a Living Archive, questioning what archive is and how it can help us think about the future. We hope that people will enjoy engaging with us in all these different ways, looking both into our past and being immersed in stories which are fiercely about the now.”
The newly announced productions will begin with No I.D. by Tatenda Shamiso, telling the story of his experience as a Black transgender immigrant in the UK, fresh from a run at the Vaults, in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs from Tuesday 18 April – Saturday 6 May. Hope has a Happy Meal by Tom Fowler, a frenetic quest through a hyper-capitalist country will run in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs from Saturday 3 June – Saturday 8 July. In the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Olivier and BAFTA Award-winning playwright Michael Wynne returns to the Royal Court with Cuckoo from Thursday 6 July – Saturday 19 August. In partnership with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, this new dark comedy will be directed by Royal Court Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone. Word-Play by Rabiah Hussain will then play in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs from Thursday 20 July – Saturday 26 August, exploring how language seeps into public consciousness.
In January 2024, the UK premiere of the Tony Award-winning Dana H. by Lucas Hnath will play at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from Tuesday 16 January – Saturday 9 March 2024. Deirdre O’Connell will reprise her award-winning tour-de-force performance as Dana, a psych ward chaplain who was held captive by a patient in a series of Florida motels for five months. Dana Higginbotham’s remarkable true story is told in her own words and using her own voice, with recorded interviews reconstructed for the stage by Dana’s son, playwright Lucas Hnath, and meticulously lip-synced by O’Connell. Directed by Les Waters, Dana H. was first presented at the Vineyard Theatre in New York in 2020, where it received three Obie citations, two Lortel Awards and the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Unique Theatrical Experience. Transferring to Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre, it received three Tony Award nominations, winning Best Actress in a Play (Deirdre O’Connell) and Best Sound Design (Mikhail Fiksel).
In June, for the first time in Royal Court history, the theatre will create a stand-alone online archive. A playground for all theatre geeks, audiences, students, educators and lovers of new writing, Living Archive will hold information on over 1600 plays put on on Royal Court stages from 1956 to the present day. Users will be able to search through the site or to take pathways created by guest curators-writers who will be regularly invited to lead users to their particular passions and inspirations. It will be a permanent work in progress, constantly evolving, with ways for everyone to contribute to and enhance the content.
The Royal Court has also announced Machloket – a disagreement for a greater good, a storytelling project created with Jewish community groups across the UK. Working in partnership (with Tash Hyman, Nick Cassenbaum, Take Stock Exchange) the project will create a nationwide conversation exploring what it means to be Jewish in the UK today.
The Royal Court is in London’s West End this spring with the Olivier Award nominated Royal Court Theatre, Nouveau Riche and New Diorama Theatre production of For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Becomes to Heavy by Ryan Calais Cameron at Nimax’s The Apollo for a limited run of six weeks from Saturday 25 March – Sunday 7 May 2023. Danny Lee Wynter’s debut play BLACK SUPERHERO is currently running in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs until Saturday 29 April, directed by Daniel Evans.
The additional Jerwood Theatre Downstairs production for the April-August period will be announced alongside the 2023 Festival d’Avignon programme announcement on Wednesday 5 April. Further information on upcoming productions will be announced in due course.
Tickets for all newly announced productions go on sale to supporters from 12.00pm on Monday 20 March 2023, to Friends at 12.00pm on Wednesday 22 March 2023, and to the general public at 12.00pm on Friday 24 March 2023.
For the full press release, see here.
For the season webpage, see here.