Royal Court: Tottenham August 2015

Published on Thu 23 Jul 2015
News of our series of events and performances to take place across Tottenham this summer.


Thursday 23 July 2015

  • As part of its three year engagement with community groups, artists, young people and businesses in Tottenham and Pimlico, the Royal Court Theatre is to host a series of events and performances to take place across Tottenham this summer.
  • The events are incorporated under TOTTENHAM’S OWN, TOTTENHAM PRESENTS and TOTTENHAM FIRSTS.

TOTTENHAM’S OWN is a celebration of work made by the local community and will include workshops and performance nights for home grown talent in the Tottenham area.

Under this strand, the Royal Court Theatre will be working with Tottenham residents in collaboration with the Bruce Grove Youth Club, Haringey Shed and The Wellside Project to create new pieces of theatre inspired by issues important to the area.

TOTTENHAM’S OWN will also feature the return of the performance night for Tottenham artists, Platform Tottenham which will invite artists of all genres to perform in front of an audience at Haringey Irish Centre’s main hall.

TOTTENHAM PRESENTS is part of the Royal Court Theatre’s efforts to bring world class art to Tottenham residents.

For TOTTENHAM PRESENTS Quang K Van will lead an opening ceremony of the programme with a promenade dance performance performed by community dancers and drummers across Lordship Rec. There will also be a special appearance by students from Pimlico Academy who the Royal Court are currently working with through their engagement with the SW1V area.

Royal Court Associate Designer Chloe Lamford will be leading two design workshops focussing on design for theatre and visual culture more broadly.

Selina Thompson will also bring her full length theatre piece Chewing The Fat to Haringey Sixth Form Centre.

TOTTENHAM PRESENTS will also include The Five Step Plan: The Massacre of the NHS and How to Fix It, a newly devised piece of theatre by The Tottenham Community Cast of Michael Wynne’s recent verbatim play about the NHS, Who Cares. Directed by Debbie Hannan the piece is an impassioned plea for the future of their community, combining personal testimony and fiction.

TOTTENHAM FIRSTS will include a strand of events by leading theatre makers from around the UK where they will try out new ideas and previously unseen work for Tottenham audiences. Rob Drummond, Rachel Mars, and Islington Community Theatre will all perform new pieces.

The events will take place in parks, community centres, schools and theatres and will feature a range of performances, workshops and collaborations with residents from Tottenham.



A celebration of work made in by the local community.
This strand of events includes:

Bruce Grove Youth Club

with Hamish Pirie
Taster session: Friday 24 July from 3pm
Join in: Every Wednesday from 29 July – 26 August, 2pm – 4pm
Sharing of work Friday 28 August, 1pm
Bruce Grove Youth Club, 10 Bruce Grove, N17 6RA

Royal Court Theatre Associate Director Hamish Pirie will work with Bruce Grove’s young people aged 11 – 19 on a piece of theatre about the issues that matter to them.

Based in Tottenham, Bruce Grove Youth Club delivers a range of activities for young people.

The sessions will culminate in a free sharing of work on 28 August at 1pm at the Bruce Grove Youth Club.

Hamish Pirie is Associate Director at the Royal Court. For the Royal Court his directing credits include Violence and Son, Who Cares and Teh Internet is Serious Business. His other theatre credits include I’m With The Band and Demos, Quiz Show, Love With A Capital ‘L’, 3 Seconds, Most Favoured, Bravo Figaro and The Last Bloom (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, where he was previously Associate Director) and Salt Root and Roe (Donmar Warehouse’s Trafalgar Studio season).

For more information, tickets and to book your place in the sessions, email


Haringey Shed’s Children’s and Youth Company

Join in: Monday 3 August – Saturday 15 August, 9am – 4pm
Sharing of work on Saturday 15 August, 2pm and 4:30pm
White Hart Studios, Haringey Sixth Form Centre, White Hart Lane, N17 8HR

A Royal Court writer and director will work with Haringey Shed’s children’s theatre (ages 7-10) and Youth Company (ages 11-16) to create their summer show.

There are spaces available for members of the public between the ages of 7 and 16 to join in.

For 15 years Haringey Shed has been delivering performing arts workshops in Haringey and surrounding boroughs. They provide inclusive workshops where participants have the opportunity to learn performing arts skills in an environment where everyone is encouraged to realise their potential.

For more infomation, tickets and to book your place in the sessions, email


Children’s Workshops with The Wellside Project

Join in: Tuesday 18, Thursday 20 and Friday 21 August, 10am – 1pm
Sharing of work Friday 21 August, 1pm
Parish Hall at Holy Trinity Church, Tottenham, Philip Ln, N15 4GZ

The Wellside Project, which seeks to bring people together to serve their community, present a series of workshops for children exploring why they love Tottenham and what it means to them.

Suitable for ages 7-12

For more information and booking email


Platform Tottenham

Friday 28 August, 8pm
Haringey Irish Centre, Main Hall, Pretoria Rd, Tottenham, N17 8DX

The second performance night for Tottenham artists of all genres who want to share their work with a friendly audience.

Tickets available on the door.

Submissions should be sent in to by 21 August.

Entrants must be over 18.


Soup Stories

Your kitchen
Whenever you choose

Royal Court Theatre Associate Director Hamish Pirie wants to tour the kitchens of Tottenham, tasting your homemade dishes, hearing your stories and chatting about the role of food in different countries and cultures. He might even do the washing up…
For more information and to join in email



World class art on your doorstep.
This strand of events includes:

Opening Ceremony: Bunny Dance
Saturday 1 August, Gather from 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Beginning at Lordship Hub, Lordship Recreational Ground, Lordship Lane, Harringay
Free and unticketed

An invitation to move and an invitation to party.

Quang K Van’s Bunny Dance plus special guests performance from our sister project in Pimlico, the Pimlico Academy Performing Arts BTEC, with If You Don’t Stand For Something, You’ll Fall For Anything.

Choreographer and dancer Quang K Van will lead an ensemble of local drummers and dancers through the Lordship Rec in a promenade performance. In creating the piece, Quang has taken inspiration from the East Asian legend of the Moon Rabbit and the energy of the people of Tottenham.

Community dancers are invited to join in the procession.

Quang K Van’s credits for the Royal Court include Teh Internet Is Serious Business. His dance credits include Miaan, SisGo, Innocence (Scottish Dance); Blake Diptych, Disgo (Darkin Ensemble); View from the Shore (Jacky Lansley Dance); O (Michael Clark Company); Mystere (Cirque du Soliel); Interview, Flying the Rainbow (Oxytoc Dance Project); Tchaikovsky Trilogy, Hamlet, Midnight Express, Romeo & Juliet, Kermesseni Brugge, The King, HC Anderson (Peter Schaufuss Ballet); Othello, XXX CLOSEUP, Where I End & We Begin, Ultimate Ophelia, Loose Ends, Magma (Skanes Dansteater); Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake (Adventures in Motion Pictures). His opera includes Skin Deep (Opera North); Ariodante (English National Opera)

For more information and to join, email

Entrants must be 16 and over. No experience necessary.


Design Workshops

With Chloe Lamford
Location TBC
Monday 7 and Monday 14 September, 7pm – 9pm

Royal Court Associate Designer Chloe Lamford will host two workshops introducing elements of design for theatre but also looking at visual culture more broadly.

No theatre experience or knowledge is necessary – just an interest in any form of visual expression, from street art to sculpture.

Chloe Lamford’s credits for the Royal Court include, Roald Dahl’s The Twits, How to Hold Your Breath, God Bless the Child, 2071, Teh Internet is Serious Business, Open Court, Circle Mirror Transformation. Her other theatre credits include Salt Root & Roe (Donmar/Trafalgar Studios); Praxis Makes Perfect (National Theatre Wales); Lungs (Schaubühne, Berlin); and 1984 (Headlong/Almeida/West End/tour). Her awards include Theatrical Management Association Award for Best Theatre Design (Small Miracle); Arts Foundation Fellowship Award for Design for Performance: Set & Costume.

For more information and to join, email


Chewing The Fat

By Selina Thompson
White Hart Studios, Haringey Sixth Form Centre, White Hart Lane, N17 8HR
Friday 7 and Saturday 8 August, 8pm
Tickets £3

Glitter, chicken legs and lots of rice pudding: Selina invites you to her own version of a midnight feast, somewhere between the confessions made over coffee at weight watchers, and sloppy drunken story-telling over a 3am kebab.

Chewing The Fat began at the University of Sheffield as Selina’s dissertation piece. After performing at Emerge Festival (Leeds) in 2012, she was invited to develop the work into a full length piece at Theatre in the Mill, Bradford – supported by West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Since then, the work has toured to ARC Stockton, PULSE Ipswich, returned to the University of Sheffield for a sell-out performance and has been invited to perform for two weeks as part of Northern Stage’s prestigious programme at Kings Hall.

Selina Thompson’s recent work includes: Pat It And Prick It And Mark It With A B (National Theatre Studio / Compass Festival, Leeds), Dark & Lovely (East Street Arts) and It Burns It All Clean (West Yorkshire Playhouse / FIERCE Festival).

Selina will also be leading a free workshop around the themes of the production on Saturday 8 August, 3pm at White Hart Studios, Haringey Sixth Form College

Book at or call 020 7565 5000.


The Five Step Plan: The Massacre of the NHS and How to Fix it

Directed by Debbie Hannan
Saturday 29 August
Performances throughout the day times TBC
Secret NHS Location, to be announced
Tickets £3

The NHS was a key electoral issue for Tottenham residents. In the aftermath of the General Election where and what should be done next?

Combining personal testimony and fiction, a community cast (including several Tottenham residents) have collaboratively devised a piece that makes an impassioned plea for the future of the NHS in their community. This is an immersive piece that will take place in a secret NHS location. Performance times TBC

Debbie Hannan’s directing credits for the Royal Court include Primetime 2015, Who Cares (as Co-Director) and Peckham The Soap Opera. As Assistant Director for the Royal Court her credits include How To Hold Your Breath, Teh Internet is Serious Business, The Nether, Primetime 2014, Birdland and The Mistress Contract. Other directing credits include Notes from the Underground (Citizens Theatre), Panorama, Roses Are Dead, You Cannot Call it Love (The Arches), Yellow Pears (Swept Up) and Grimm Tales, Nights at the Circus (Theatre Paradok). She was a previous trainee director at the Royal Court.

Book at or call 020 7565 5000.



Leading theatre makers from around the UK try out new ideas and previously unseen work for Tottenham audiences.
This strand of events includes:

The Hole of My Heart

by Rob Drummond
Friday 21 August, 7.30pm
Beehive Pub, Stoneleigh Rd, Tottenham N17 9BQ
Tickets £3

When Rob was eight years old doctors found a hole in his heart and advised his parents he had only a few months to live.

Join him now in his thirty fourth year as he investigates his past medical health and examines the possibility of knowing his future with the help of human genome scientists in America who, for three thousand dollars, will tell him how he is likely to die.

Rob Drummond’s theatre credits include Mr Write (National Theatre of Scotland), Rob Drummond: Wrestling (The Arches), Bullet Catch (The Arches) and Quiz Show (The Traverse).

Book at or call 020 7565 5000.



In collaboration with Islington Community Theatre
Saturday 22 August, 3pm and 7pm
Bernie Grants Art Centre
Running time: 45 mins
Age guidance: 11+
Free but ticketed

On 23 June 2014, fifteen year old Helawit went to her friend’s birthday party in north London. They watched a film, ate pizza and made terrible rap videos on their phones.

On the same day, on the other side of the world, Helawit’s dad – a British democracy activist – was kidnapped, hooded and illegally rendered to Ethiopia. A year later, he’s still there – held in solitary confinement and facing a death sentence for crimes he didn’t commit.

Ask is an intimate new scratch play created and performed by Helawit, a long-standing member of Islington Community Theatre, and her friends. It’s about what it means for your dad to go missing in one of the most important years of your life and why the British Government won’t ask for him back.

Islington Community Theatre is one of the UK’s leading companies making theatre with young people. The ICT is currently at the National Theatre performing their newly devised piece, Brainstorm created by Ned Glasier, Emily Lim and the company.

A free post-show discussion will take place after the 7pm performance.

Book at or call 020 7565 5000.


Our Carnal Hearts and Sing It! Spirit of Envy

by Rachel Mars plus special Tottenham guests The New Tottenham Singers
Saturday 5 September, 5pm
St Mary’s Church, Lansdowne Rd, Tottenham, N17 9XE
Free but ticketed

Two pieces by Rachel Mars which continue her work on the theme of envy in song and text.

This fairy comes round your house.
You, she says, are in luck.
Ask for anything you want.
Anything in the world and I’ll give it to you. But whatever you ask for, your neighbour gets the same thing, but double.
Great. You say. Fine.
Cut out one of my eyes.

Our Carnal Hearts is a celebration of envy. A place to whoop at our own fragility and delight against our better nature. A show that seeks to prove that envy makes us better.

Sing It! Spirit of Envy! is a short song piece about greed and envy, solo pursuits and communal contentment. Made anew with a pop-up choir of local singers each time it is performed, it puts two joyfully waggling fingers up to glib, economic politco-bullshit speak.

Rachel Mars is a performance maker with a background in theatre, live art and comedy. Her theatre credits includes The Way You Tell Them (CPT, Summerhall, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Contact Theatre, Machynlleth Comedy Festival, further UK Touring and Wildside Festival, Montreal, The Butterfly Club, Melbourne), The Lady’s Not For Walking Like An Egyptian (Ovalhouse, Royal Exchange, Norwich Arts Centre, The Albany, further touring Autumn 2015) and Sing It! Spirit of Envy! (Buzzcut Festival, Forest Fringe, Lyric Hammersmith, Machynlleth Comedy Festival).

The New Tottenham Singers are a non-audition choir based in North London, open to all, which aims to unite and represent the wider community through a joy of singing.

There will be an open rehearsal day for The New Tottenham Singers on 29 August at Bernie Grant Arts Centre from 2pm – 6pm. For more details email

Book at or call 020 7565 5000.



For more information please contact Rida Hamidou on 0207 565 5157 /


The Royal Court Theatre is the writers’ theatre. It is a leading force in world theatre, finding writers and producing new plays that are original and contemporary. The Royal Court strives to be at the centre of civic, political, domestic and international life, giving writers a home to tackle big ideas and world events and tell great stories.

The Royal Court commissions and develops an extraordinary quantity of new work reading over 3000 scripts a year and annually producing around 14 world or UK premieres in its two auditoria at Sloane Square in London. Over 200,000 people visit the Royal Court each year and many thousands more see our work elsewhere through transfers to the West End and New York, national and international tours, residencies across London and site-specific work, including recent projects in Peckham, Pimlico and Tottenham.

The Royal Court’s extensive development activity encompasses a diverse range of writers and artists and includes an ongoing programme of writers’ attachments, readings, workshops, and playwriting groups. Twenty years of pioneering work around the world means the Royal Court has relationships with writers on every continent.

The Royal Court opens its doors to radical thinking and provocative discussion, and to the unheard voices and free thinkers that, through their writing, change our way of seeing.


Bloomberg Philanthropies supports Beyond the Court: Tottenham and Pimlico

As a cutting edge communications company, Bloomberg has long championed innovation and has established an international reputation for supporting organisations that push beyond conventional boundaries. Through its dynamic philanthropy programme, Bloomberg has supported a wide range of arts initiatives that burst beyond the four walls of theatres and galleries, taking the excitement of theatre and art further out into the community. From dance on the streets and theatre in squares, to pavilions in parks and installations on billboards, Bloomberg is committed to reaching new audiences and we are delighted that our collaboration with the Royal Court: Pimlico and Royal Court: Tottenham will inspire artists and audiences to engage in new ways and in new spaces. We are delighted to be part of such a unique and extraordinary project.
Through our philanthropy programme, we help charities and non-profit organisations around the world in education and literacy programs, health and medical research, social work, arts and culture, public parks and the environment. For further information please visit


Coutts is the Royal Court Theatre Innovation Partner

Coutts is the wealth division of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Coutts has a long history of supporting the arts going back 200 years, having looked after the financial affairs of many famous clients connected with the arts such as Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens and Chopin. In 1816, Thomas Coutts married Harriot Mellon, a popular actress of her day, and together they became partners of a number of London Theatres, including the Drury Lane and the Royal Opera House. Coutts has even featured in a number of artistic works including The Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivan, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In the new millennium, this tradition has continued not only through Coutts managing the finances of many of today’s top writers, actors and musicians, but also through our arts sponsorship programme. We are delighted to support The Royal Court and it’s diverse range of ground-breaking performances. For further information please visit