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The ridiculously good new Royal Court season includes Sam Mendes directing a new Jez Butterworth play

Andrzej Lukowski

The Royal Court Theatre has played a blinder with its new season announcement, which includes the Sam Mendes-directed 'The Ferryman' from Jez Butterworth – the follow up to 2012's almost impossible to get into The River and 2009's epoch-defining 'Jerusalem'. Running April 17 to May 20, it's set on a farmhouse in the early '80s and concerns a family celebration interrupted by an unexpected visitor (ie we don't know very much about it).

Royal Court boss Vicky Featherstone has been accused in the past of wilfully obscure programming, but the Court's 2017 season would appear to balance the artsy and the commercial impeccably.

Other shows include 'The Kid Stays in the Picture' (Mar 7-Apr 8), a piece about Hollywood legend Robert Evans that's directed and devised by the great Simon McBurney; 'Nuclear War' (Apr 19-May 6), a dance piece from Imogen Knight with a text by Simon Stephens; 'Anatomy of a Suicide' (Jun 3-Jul 8), by Alice Birch, directed by Katie Mitchell; and a very rare revival for the new writing theatre in the form of Jim Cartwright's seminal '80s drama 'Road' (Jul 21-Sep 9).

The season also includes new work from debbie tucker green, Gary Owen, and the anonymous 'Manwatching' (which we reviewed at Edinburgh last year), plus dates to be announced for Chilean drama 'B' by Guillermo Calderón and Chris Thorpe's 'Victory Condition'.

There's no casting announced yet, but clearly 'The Ferryman is the big 'un, and as a co-production with West End producer Sonia Friedman a transfer looks pretty much bolted on.

Tickets go on public sale on Friday.

In other theatre news, Shakespeare's Globe boss Emma Rice has announced a shock final season

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