Plays by Samuel Beckett, Tom Stoppard, Caryl Churchill, John Osborne, Ariel Dorfman and Christopher Hampton will all feature as part of the Royal Court’s 50th anniversary season, which will also see Max Stafford-Clark, Trevor Nunn and Stephen Daldry directing and Harold Pinter appearing on stage.
The season is current artistic director Ian Rickson’s final year at the venue. He will revisit Cloud Nine by Churchill in the spring and, later in the year, direct Pinter in Krapp’s Last Tape and a new version of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull by Christopher Hampton.
Meanwhile, Nunn will direct Rock’n’Roll, a new play by Stoppard and his first written specifically for The Royal Court, while Stafford-Clark will open the season on January 12 with a co-production between the Royal Court and Out of Joint, O Go My Man by Stella Feehily. The autumn is also expected to feature a new, and as yet untitled, play by David Hare, directed by former Royal Court artistic director Stephen Daldry.
The season will involve a series of special events throughout the year. The company will revisit three past productions from its past 50 years of performing, which have been voted for by audiences over the last three months. The three plays chosen by the public were Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman, which premiered at the theatre in 1991, Look Back in Anger by John Osbourne, first produced in 1956, and The Rocky Horror Show by Richard O’Brien, which opened at the Royal Court’s Theatre Upstairs in 1973.
The venue will also hold a discussion on censorship from 1824 to 1968, chaired by critic and author Nicholas de Jongh, and a debate on its effects in the present day with a panel of guest speakers. In the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, the theatre will look back at its 50-year history with 50 readings from 50 writers, starting with The Entertainer by Osborne and concluding with Fallout by Roy Williams. Where possible, the original company will be invited back to reprise their roles.
The theatre will also continue its work with international playwrights, holding a series of festivals and selections of dramatic writing from across the globe. For full listings of the Royal Court’s 2006 season visit www.royalcourttheatre.com.