Rare Earth Mettle

by Al Smith

Rare Earth Mettle Top / Details / Extras / The Company
Wed 10 Nov - Sat 18 Dec 2021

Al Smith’s epic new play is a brutally comic exploration of risk, delusion and power.

“You don’t tell an American to turn off their light; you build them a better light bulb.”

Three worlds collide on a Bolivian salt flat.

A leading doctor, who has travelled from the UK, believes she can save the NHS, solve the British mental health crisis, and advance her career.

A Silicon Valley billionaire, who has been watching the site from his satellites, believes he can save the world building affordable electric cars, and make millions of dollars in the process.

And the indigenous community, who have preserved the land for generations, believe both visitors have propositions that could transform their futures.

Each pursue their own ambitions, but which is the greatest good?

Al Smith returns to the Royal Court following Harrogate, for which he was nominated Most Promising Playwright (Evening Standard Theatre Awards). He first worked with the theatre as a participant of a Royal Court Writers’ Group where emerging writers are given space and support to develop. Royal Court Associate Director Hamish Pirie directs.

Rare Earth Mettle has been generously supported with a lead gift from Charles Holloway.

Further support has been received from the Cockayne Grant for the Arts, a donor advised fund of The London Community Foundation. This play is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.

Rare Earth Mettle was a co-commission by the Royal Court Theatre, London and Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles, California.

Jerwood Theatre Downstairs

Mon – Sat: 7.30pm (except 16 Nov 7pm)

Thu & Sat matinees: 2.30pm (from 18 Nov)

Running time is 3 hours 10 minutes, including a 20 minute interval.

This production contains haze, smoke, flashing lights, laser and strobe effects

We require all audience members, unless medically exempt, to wear face coverings throughout the venue and in the auditorium, out of respect for others, and in support of the cast. Read full details about your visit to the Royal Court here.

Access Performances

Captioned: Wed 1, 8 & 15 Dec

Audio Described: Sat 11 Dec at 2.30pm (Touch Tour 1pm)

Audio described pre-show notes for Rare Earth Mettle by VocalEyes.

Relaxed Environment: Sat 4 Dec at 2.30pm

General ticket information

Trigger warnings for productions

Story synopsis for Rare Earth Mettle

Sensory synopsis for Rare Earth Mettle


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