There’s so much exciting stuff going on at the award-winning Royal Court at the moment, I felt it was time to dedicate a whole post to their work…
You can see theatre in some pretty amazing places in London. The National Theatre’s brutalist exterior is breathtaking; under the arches at Shunt you can be transported into another world; I might’ve mentioned how much I enjoy The Globe somewhere before; summer drama in the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park is makes for a fantastically romantic evening…
But more often than not, if you see theatre in London, you’re likely to be in a fairly traditional auditorium.
The Royal Court is hoping to change all that. This week, they’ve announced they’re taking over a shop in the Elephant & Castle shopping centre in South East London.
It’s certainly a long way (in more than distance terms!) from their usual swanky Sloane Square residence.
The project, called Theatre Local sees Royal Court plays transfer to Units 215/216 at the Elephant & Castle shopping centre. The space seats 80, tickets cost £8: the idea is to build a new audience, one that would probably never buy a ticket for the Royal Court in Sloane Square.
The “season” opens with a three-week run of random by debbie tucker green (she doesn’t like capital letters). And this show will be followed by three Jerwood Theatre Upstairs shows from the Royal Court’s current season – Disconnect, The Empire, and Spur of The Moment – each of which will transfer for a short run.
Dominic Cooke, artistic director of the Royal Court, says,
“Theatre Local takes Royal Court plays to the heart of a community that may not otherwise get the chance to see our work. It forms an integral part of our ambition to create unpredictable relationships between new plays and audiences.
“We felt Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre was the perfect base for us to start this venture. It sits at the centre of one of the most vibrant and diverse communities in Europe and we are looking forward to forging links with local people and welcoming new audiences to see our shows.
“Experiencing these four very different plays in the bustling environment of a shopping centre should be a thrilling and invigorating experience for everyone involved.
“We hope it will contribute to creating a new generation of audiences for the Court, both at our home in Sloane Square and beyond.”
There’s more exciting stuff coming to the Royal Court in the coming weeks too. With two blockbusters (Enron and Jerusalem) currently playing in the West End, and the above project kicking off, you’d think they’d be pausing for breath. Not so. Both Off The Endz (starring the lovely Ashley Walters) and Posh (which sounds terrifying) are currently booking on site, and both sound fantastic. I hope it’s going to be another great year for the theatre.
Check out the Off The Endz trailer here: