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Royal Court 2024 season to star Emma D’Arcy, Ben Whishaw, John Lithgow and Elliot Levey

Emma D'Arcy, Kayla Meikle and Ben Whishaw perform in a new adaptation of Maggie Nelson's Bluets by Margaret Perry and directed by Katie Mitchell

Culture

Royal Court 2024 season to star Emma D’Arcy, Ben Whishaw, John Lithgow and Elliot Levey

The Royal Court Theatre has this week announced the inaugural season from new Artistic Director David Byrne: nine new plays, all from writers making their Royal Court debuts.

The 2024 season runs from May – December across both theatre spaces. The nine plays feature internationally-recognised artists side-by-side with emerging talent and first-time writers, celebrating the breadth of new writing across the UK and internationally.

David Byrne, Artistic Director of the Royal Court:

“There are 10 Royal Court debuts this season. It’s my first programme as Artistic Director, and it’s the Royal Court debut for each of the nine exceptional writers. More than just a season, this is a statement of intent for what’s to come: a new generation of bold voices with big, messy stories to tell; world-renowned artists rubbing alongside insurgent new talent, igniting some unmissable theatre on our stages.

“This is an invitation to audiences, artists and fellow playwrights everywhere: across my time at the Royal Court, we’ll be treading the path of maximum adventure. Times may be difficult but we’re up for the challenge, and the mission of the Court – to champion brave writers that push us forward – has never been more vital. Come join us, I want to take everybody along for the ride.”

JERWOOD THEATRE DOWNSTAIRS

Emma D’Arcy, Kayla Meikle and Ben Whishaw perform in a new adaptation of Maggie Nelson’s Bluets by Margaret Perry and directed by Katie Mitchell. A different performer takes to the stage every night, performing a script they’ve never seen before in Nassim Soleimanpour and Omar Elerian’s ECHO (Every Cold Hearted Oxygen) – a surprising exploration of what it feels like to be an immigrant in time.

John Lithgow plays Roald Dahl alongside Elliot Levey as Tom Maschler in Mark Rosenblatt’s debut play Giant, directed by Nicholas Hytner, as Dahl’s family and Jewish publisher gather to navigate the fall-out from Dahl’s recent antisemitic outbursts in the press.

JERWOOD THEATRE UPSTAIRS

Sabrina Ali’s award-winning play Dugsi Dayz, from Side eYe, directed by Poppy Clifford, a comedy set among four young British-Somali girls stuck in detention at Mosque, inspired by cult film The Breakfast Club, opens the upstairs season.

A breakout hit from the Dublin Fringe, Ciara Elizabeth Smyth’s award-winning Lie Low, directed by Oisin Kearney, follows a woman in the wake of a home invasion seeking to find closure through repeatedly re-enacting the crime with her brother.

Tensions rise during a medieval football game in Stewart Pringle’s The Bounds, a darkly comic play set in 1555, exploring national divides, rural identity and the extremes of village sports, directed by Jack McNamara.

The friendships of three Black boys begin to unravel when urban legend and police surveillance collide in Tife Kusoro’s G.

Oli Forsyth’s BRACE BRACE is a gripping examination of healing and survival in the aftermath of a plane hijacking, directed by Daniel Raggett.

Giving voice to the often-overlooked experiences of British Pakistani women, Emteaz Hussain’s Expendable delves into the serious shortcomings of our national institutions as a community is rocked by scandal.

The season will also see the Royal Court forge creative partnerships with organisations throughout the country such as Live Theatre, Prime Cut Productions, Side eYe Productions and LIFT (London’s International Festival of Theatre) encouraging a more collaborative approach to developing new writing and enabling striking new work to reach as broad an audience as possible.

The theatre has also revealed a major new ticket initiative that will expand on its mission to ensure that world-class new writing is accessible to the widest possible audience. Half of all seats in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs will be available from £22.50 or less and throughout the season all tickets for Monday night performances will be £15. The theatre has also extended its scheme for young audiences with Under 27s ticket prices now available for ages 30 and under. A new access scheme for D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent patrons will also launch later this month, offering priority booking periods, adjusted seat prices and a monthly newsletter with information on upcoming productions, including access performances and facilities.

Tickets for all newly announced productions go on sale to supporters from 12 noon on Monday 4 March, to Friends at 12 noon on Friday 8 March, and to the general public at 12 noon on Monday 11 March.

The Royal Court’s commitment to supporting writers sits at the heart of the 2024 season and remains central to all aspects of the organisation’s work. The Court’s Writer’s Groups and year-round open script submissions will run alongside the season of new work with further programmes to be announced in the coming months.

 

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