Royal Court: Autumn 2008 Season Announced

The Royal Court has announced there new season for autumn/winter 2008.

The forthcoming elections in America have provided a key point of inspiration, as the Court’s Artistic Director Dominic Cooke said: “In a few months’ time, the eyes of the world will be on America as the voters elect their next President. Their decision will affect us all and so it is fitting that our Autumn season looks across the Atlantic for inspiration, with new plays from Christopher Shinn and Tarell Alvin McCraney.”

First up, in September, as the Obama-McCain election campaign reaches its climax, is Now Or Later by Christopher Shinn a play about a fictional US Presidential race. Shinn is a New York-based playwright whose previous plays for the Royal Court include Dying City, Where Do We Live, Four and Other People. Now Or Later will feature Domhnall Gleeson and Eddie Redmayne.

Also in September the Court will stage a celebration of Caryl Churchill’s seventieth birthday. In recognition of her long and successful association with the Royal Court, ten leading playwrights, including Martin Crimp, debbie tucker green, Joe Penhall, Mark Ravenhill and Wallace Shawn, will direct one-off readings of their favourite Caryl Churchill plays. This will be followed by Paradise Regained, Mark Ravenhill’s epilogue to his epic series of short plays, Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat.

November sees a marked shift in tone as the Court stages Wig Out! by Tarell Alvin McCraney. Billed as “a wild and glorious drag queen cabaret” it will be directed by Dominic Cooke. (McCraney looks destined to be the man of the season, as, around the same time, his first play The Brothers Size will be returning to the Young Vic after a successful run there last year; and they will also be staging his In The Red And Brown Water.)

Meanwhile in the Upstairs Theatre, the season begins with a new play by Alecky Blythe, The Girlfriend Experience. Blythe’s previous work includes Come Out, Eli and Cruising. This new play, created entirely from edited conversations recorded inside a real brothel, will feature Debbie Chazen, who recently featured in Stephen Fry’s Cinderella at the Old Vic and is one of the three stars of the BBC’s Tittytittybangbang.

This will be followed by Faces In The Crowd, a new play by Leo Butler billed as ‘a unique insight into 21st century London and the debts we accrue in the wake of seeking out our ambitions” and then, in November, by The Pride, a play by Alexi Kaye Campbell about the way attitudes to sexuality have changed over recent years.

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