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Jez Butterworth to premiere new play at Royal Court

London's Royal Court Theatre. Photo: Stephen Cummiskey London's Royal Court Theatre. Photo: Stephen Cummiskey
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Jez Butterworth is to return to the Royal Court with a new play directed by Sam Mendes.

Butterworth’s Ferryman will premiere in April as part of the Royal Court’s 2017 season, which also includes new work by Debbie Tucker Green and Simon Stephens, and a new production of Jim Cartwright’s Road.

Mendes will make his Royal Court debut directing Ferryman, which runs from April 24 to May 20 and has been developed and co-produced with Sonia Friedman Productions in association with Neal Street Productions.

Tucker Green’s A Profoundly Affectionate, Passionate Devotion to Someone (-Noun), which she also directs, opens the season, running from February 28 to April 1.

It is followed by The Kids Stay in the Picture, directed by Simon McBurney. Based on the life of American film producer Robert Evans, the play runs from March 7 to April 8 and is co-produced with Patrick Milling Smith, Barbara Broccoli, Michael Wilson and Brian Carmody, in association with Complicite.

Stephens’ Nuclear War will premiere in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, running from April 19 to May 6. It is directed by Imogen Knight.

John Tiffany directs Cartwright’s Road, which first opened at the Royal Court in 1986. The new production premieres in July, running from July 21 to September 9.

Alice Birch will make her Jerwood Theatre Downstairs debut in June with Anatomy of a Suicide, directed by Katie Mitchell, while Gary Owen returns to the venue with a new play, Killology, co-produced with the Sherman Theatre and directed by its artistic director Rachel O’Riordan.

The season also includes Chris Thorpe’s new play, Victory Condition, directed by Royal Court artistic director Vicky Featherstone, running in September.

Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderon will make his Royal Court debut with B, directed by Sam Pritchard and also running in September. In addition, the season features a transfer of Manwatching, which was commissioned by the Royal Court and ran at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015 as part of Paines Plough’s Roundabout season.

Featherstone has also announced a series of playwright podcasts, to be released this autumn. They feature interviews with playwrights conducted by Simon Stephens. Writers featuring in the first series include April de Angelis, Tanika Gupta, David Hare, Robert Holman, David Hare, Joe Penhall, Lucy Prebble and Enda Walsh.

Featherstone said of the season: “I am humbled and thrilled to be announcing such a varied and exciting mixture of work from playwrights and theatremakers at the top of their game, pushing the limits of their potential to challenge, surprise and provoke us.”

“This is the Royal Court at its best – a place for attracting some of the great playwrights and theatremakers of our times to experiment and take risks to give us, the audience, the most extraordinary experiences possible.”

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