Royal Court Theatre

Theatre , West End Belgravia
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(4 user reviews)
19 Love It
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© Helen Maybanks

London's edgy new writing powerhouse

London's premiere new writing theatre, the Royal Court made its name in the 1950s when it was synonymous with kitchen sink dramas and the Angry Young Men, and has scarcely looked back (in anger) since.

The commercially successful reign of Dominic Cooke was famously marked by his stated mission to acknowledge the nature of the Sloane Square theatre's audience and 'explore what it means to be middle class'. The quote probably came back to haunt him, coming to define a reign that was marked by lots of new writing from BAME playwrights, plus such towering West End transfer successes as 'Enron' and the peerless 'Jerusalem'.

Current Royal Court artistic director Vicky Featherstone has taken the theatre down a much more experimental route that frequently thrills but has perhaps endeared her more to artists than audiences. The Almeida and Young Vic having probably overtaken it in terms of influence, though certainly there's a willingness to try something that might not work that seemed to have disappeared somewhat in the Cooke era.

There are two venues, the tiny Upstairs and large Downstairs, plus a welcoming bar kitchen that's a fabulous place to visit for a gander at the cream of London's playwrights and creatives, who inexorably drift through throughout the day.

Venue name: Royal Court Theatre
Contact:
Address: 50-51
Sloane Square
London
SW1W 8AS
Transport: Tube: Sloane Sq
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  • Drama Until Saturday June 18 2016
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  • Drama Tuesday May 31 2016 - Saturday July 30 2016
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  • Experimental Thursday June 2 2016 - Saturday June 11 2016
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  • Experimental Thursday June 9 2016 - Saturday June 11 2016
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  • Contemporary and experimental Thursday June 16 2016 - Saturday June 18 2016
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  • Experimental Friday July 1 2016 - Saturday August 6 2016
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  • Drama Wednesday September 7 2016 - Saturday October 15 2016
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  • Drama Thursday September 15 2016 - Saturday October 22 2016
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|4
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Bonnie W
Tastemaker

The Royal Court Theatre is a lovely theatre in Sloane Square that looks to be newly refurbished. They have comfy leather seats in the theatre with a good amount of leg room. A large space in the basement makes up the Royal Court Theatre Kitchen. This is a great place for a meal even if you're not seeing a play. There's a mix of couches, tables and bars to sit at and a casual atmosphere where you order at the main bar. The halloumi and mushroom burger that I ordered was delicious as were the chips, fresh from the fryer. There was also a great selection of wines, beers and ciders to choose from. The service was friendly and quick. The only draw back on our visit was that because we went for a pre theatre meal at 6:30, all the seats were taken and we ended up having to stand at a little bar to eat our food. It's best to go earlier or else after 7:30 if possible.

Chris A
Tastemaker

The Royal Court is a brilliant theatre and it's worth a trip just to have a wander around the interesting building. The bar is also a great place to grab a drink or food, even if you're not seeing a play. The main theatre is one of the comfiest in London, with a mixture of mainly new plays and revivals of provocative writing from the last few decades. The upstairs studio often premieres new work from overseas. A great place!

Dave C

A good tip - become a member and you get access to £10 tickets on Mondays. The programme here is generally very strong and it's worth taking a risk and booking ahead. And the bar is a great place to hang out before and after productions.

Katharine F

I went to the Royal Court when I first arrived in London decades ago - it knocked me out then and still does now - a proper theatre offering properly stuff - takes some risks but always delivers a satisfying night - great for local drinks and eating pre and post and right next to the tube.