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Women writers and directors dominate new Royal Court season

Two thirds of the writers and directors in the Royal Court's new season are women Two thirds of the writers and directors in the Royal Court's new season are women
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Lyndsey Turner will direct the world premiere of Dennis Kelly’s Girls and Boys in the Royal Court’s new season.

Two thirds of the writers and directors are women across the season at the London venue. It includes the return of Lola Arias’ Minefield, which premiered at the London International Festival of Theatre last year, and a revival of Andrea Dunbar’s Rita, Sue and Bob Too, directed by Max Stafford-Clark.

Both productions will play in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, along with the world premiere of Goats by Syrian playwright Liwaa Yazji, translated by Katharine Halls and directed by Hamish Pirie.

In the Jerwood Upstairs space will be Black Men Walking by rapper Testament. Dawn Walton will direct, and the play is co-produced with Eclipse Theatre Company and Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre.

Also in the upstairs space, artistic director Vicky Featherstone will direct three shows: Gundog by Simon Longman, Bad Roads by Ukrainian playwright Natal’ya Vorozhbit, translated by Sasha Dugdale, and the debut play by Anoushka Warden, My Mum’s a Twat.

Warden’s play looks at growing up with a mother who was part of a cult. All three plays will take place in the Jerwood Upstairs space.

Temporary venue the Site, which has been designed by Chloe Lamford, will host the UK premiere of Grimly Handsome by American playwright Julia Jarcho.

The play has been reimagined as a series of installations inside the venue by Lamford and Royal Court associate Sam Pritchard.

Featherstone said: “Having had an extraordinary first half of 2017 at the Royal Court where some of Britain’s major world class theatre artists have made remarkable, landmark work, this autumn we invite emerging writers from across the world to make radical new work for Britain.

“From Syria, Ukraine, Argentina and the US, these writers – all women – are writing about conflict, radicalism, justice. These plays are hewn from the need to magnify, to tell, and to deepen our understanding of the often closed off stories and lives that we only witness filtered through news channels.

“It is impossible not to work in both a global and local context in these times. This season aspires to give audiences voices from both.”

Simon Stephens will interview playwrights in a second season of the theatre’s podcast series, with the schedule to be announced.

The season runs from November 2 to April 7.

Royal Court season at a glance

Minefield by Lola Arias
Directed by Lola Arias
November 2 to 11, press night November 3

Bad Roads by Natal’ya Vorozhbit, translated by Sasha Dugdale
Directed by Vicky Featherstone
November 15 to December 23, press night November 22

Goats by Liwaa Yazji, translated by Katharine Halls
Directed by Hamish Pirie
November 24 to December 30, press night December 1

Grimly Handsome by Julia Jarcho
Production created by Sam Pritchard and Chloe Lamford
December 6 to 23, press night December 9

My Mum’s a Twat by Anoushka Warden
Directed by Vicky Featherstone
January 8 to 20, 2018, press night January 9

Rita, Sue and Bob Too by Andrea Dunbar
Directed by Max Stafford-Clark
January 9 to 27, press night January 11

Gundog by Simon Longman
Directed by Vicky Featherstone
January 31 to March 10, press night February 7

Girls and Boys by Dennis Kelly
Directed by Lyndsey Turner
February 8 to March 10, press night February 15

Black Men Walking by Testament
Directed by Dawn Walton
March 21 to April 7, press night March 22

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