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|
|Opening hours:||Check website for tour times and show times|
|Transport:||Tube: Sloane Sq|
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‘ear for eye’ review
Nobody goes to a debbie tucker green play to have fun. And though it has a few dark laughs, her latest, ‘eye for ear’, is absolutely not fun: something you could probably have worked out from the running time alone, a tasty two hours 15 minutes, with...Drama Until Saturday November 24 2018
‘Still No Idea’ review
Nearly ten years on from devising their first show, ‘No Idea’, Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence are once again exploring the public’s perception on disability. The hope is that attitudes have moved on and that opportunities for disabled people, including...Comedy Until Saturday November 17 2018
After 'Two Man Show', their furious, visual, iconoclastic exploration of gender, RashDash are the toast of the town. Now they're making their Royal Court debut by directing 'Hole', actor Ellie Kendrick's first play. Kendrick is best known for playing...Experimental Wednesday November 28 2018 - Saturday January 12 2019
Mark Ravenhill's pioneering 1996 debut play 'Shopping and Fucking' was at the shocking forefront of '90s in-yer-face theatre: his more recent Royal Court work includes the equally brutal 2008 war story collection 'Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat' and his 2009...Drama Thursday December 6 2018 - Saturday January 26 2019
Ian McKellen: Tolkien, Shakespeare, others …and you!
Sir Ian McKellen turns eighty next year, and marks the occasion by taking a well-earned rest. ONLY JOKING. In fact the unstoppable stage and screen legend will tour a new autobiographical stage show called ‘Tolkien, Shakespeare, others …and you!’ to...Drama Friday January 25 2019 - Sunday September 15 2019
Actor Nicôle Lecky writes, stars and composes this drama about a once popular young woman, Sasha, who has withdrawn to her room and an introspective life in her parents’ bedroom, trawling social media and honing her skills as a ‘singer slash rapper’....Drama Wednesday January 30 2019 - Saturday February 16 2019
This review is from May 2016. ‘Cyprus Avenue’ returns in May 2019. The last show I saw by Irish playwright David Ireland was ‘I Promise You Sex and Violence’, a wildly offensive bad taste comedy that opened to venomous reviews at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe...Drama Thursday February 14 2019 - Saturday March 16 2019
Conceived by Stacey Gregg and Deborah Pearson and devised and performed by Lucy Edkins, Jennifer Joseph, TerriAnn Oudjar and Jade Small – four women with experience of the UK justice system – this latest work from Clean Break offers a formally radical...Drama Wednesday February 27 2019 - Saturday March 23 2019
Australian-Thai playwright Anchuli Felicia King is a completely unknown quantity in the UK, but it’s hard not get excited when the Royal Court swings behind an up-and-coming so wholeheartedly. Her international debut, ‘White Pearl’, is a satire on racism...Drama Friday May 10 2019 - Saturday June 15 2019
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
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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.