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Royal Court Theatre

Theatre, West End Sloane Square
5 out of 5 stars
(13user reviews)
Royal Court Theatre
© Helen Maybanks

Time Out says

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 occasionally baffles but frequently thrills, while still managing to score the odd transfer smash via older associates of the theatre: Jez Butterworth’s ‘The Ferryman’ was a monster of a hit. She has also taken something of a leadership role in the London theatre community in the #MeToo era, being the driving force behind a new code of behavious designed to challenge abuse of power within the theatre community.

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.

Posted:

Details

Address: 50-51
Sloane Square
London
SW1W 8AS
Transport: Tube: Sloane Sq
Price: Various
Contact:
Opening hours: Check website for tour times and show times
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  • Drama Until Saturday November 16 2019
  • Drama Thursday October 24 2019 - Saturday November 23 2019
  • Drama Wednesday November 27 2019 - Saturday December 21 2019
  • Drama Thursday December 5 2019 - Saturday January 18 2020
  • Drama Wednesday January 15 2020 - Saturday February 22 2020

Users say (13)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:8
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|13
2 people listening
tastemaker

Not sure how you can't give the Royal Court anything but 5 stars... seems pointless to have a review rating for these theatres. They are iconic and treasures... I love the main theatre. So luxurious, a pleasure to visit. Take note all you West End theatres; this is how you create a theatrical experience. 

tastemaker

This is such a sweet little theatre that presents a great variety of plays. The stage is an awesome space and often it's  amazing how it is presented particularly for kids' productions. There is a really nice space for coffees which is perfect for meeting up with friends prior a performance. 

tastemaker

Known as the Court Theatre; one of my favorites in London. Reasonably priced; interesting, contemporary productions and a great bar downstairs. Interior is cozy, quite quirky and very comfy. What else do you need for a great theater experience..

Tastemaker

Lovely little Theatre next to Sloane Square, great plays and a quirky bar. Seats are comfy and staff are friendly. Top tip Become a member and you can get ten pound tickets for lots of shows, failing that Monday's you can get cheap seats!

tastemaker

One of my fav venues in london - personal, intermette and modern. Have seen some fab plays on their £10 Monday deal.

The bar is good too with loads of the stars drinking in their after the show.

Good it's fab

tastemaker

My second favourite theatre in London! All the plays I've seen here have been brilliant, there is a good view from all the seats, they have good cheap tickets on a Monday and the bar is excellent for a pre show drink/dinner. Also it's next door to Sloane Sq station for those who don't like to walk too far!

Tastemaker

HOW? How have I not been to the Royal Court before? It's fantastic. Right next to Sloane Square station it's dead easy to get to. The bar has such a great vibe  and a nice selection of food, We shared a couple of charcuterie/Mezze type platters before the play. After it's lovely as lots of the actors turn up in the bar for a drink and it has a great matey feel. I was surprised to find they didn't do decaffeinated tea but that's a small quibble. It as also nice that there were plenty of toilets and so we didn't have to spend the whole interval queuing.


I am already plotting many many visits back - with my book group, with my children and with any other excuse I can think of and that's without even caring about the plays - but they were great too - see separate reviews!

Tastemaker

Great theatre located conveniently beside a tube station. Has a often rotating list of shows at very affordable prices. The acting is top notch and rivals that of the west-end productions. They have 2 theatres inside, one smaller more intimate one upstairs which I much prefer because it allows for closer proximity to the actors. In fact, there is no bad seat at all in the upstairs place and probably hence why the free seating. The downstairs theatre is large and is fixed seating. The larger theatre allows for larger set builds and larger companies.

Tastemaker

The Royal Court is one of a handful of London's theatres outside of the West-End that would still be considered top rate by theatre-goers and critics. It is well laid out, well catered for (with the bar and restaurant below), it has good views from most of the seats, adequate leg room and, on a hot day, it is nicely cool compared to many other theatres of the same size (very prevalent at the time of writing this review). It has two performance areas; one stage and a studio above that houses the smaller writing talent or the more out there plays.


The stage is a well sized and has been baron and had entire flat complex sets built on it.  The building isn't that old so you can see it has been designed to deal with the occasional ridiculousness of set design in modern theatre. The programme of the theatre has also changed in recent years with the appointment of Vicky Featherstone as Artistic Director. While Ian Rickson and Dominic Cooke (previous AD's) took a more solid, pragmatic approach to new writing, Vicky's is definitely more up and down. The Royal Court has always been built on a strong vision and programme from the AD and it seems Vicky is intent on bringing it to the forefront of modern exploratory theatre. I think this is a good thing but there have been some noticeably average productions come through in recent years. If this is the trade off for new, different, exciting theatre to be made more mainstream, then that is fine with me. 


£10 tickets on the day for Monday performances and £15 rush tickets means the seats aren't solely there for the well to do in the Sloane Square area but beware, if the production is reviewed well or has a big name in it, chances are the run will be sold out. 



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.

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!


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.


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.

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