Vicky Featherstone has announced the roster of productions to open her first season as artistic director of the Royal Court. Two of the upcoming productions will be part of the Theatre Local project, through which the company stages productions outside of its home at Sloane Square.
The first Theatre Local production will be Annie Baker's Obie Award-winning Circle Mirror Transformation, which premiered off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 2009. The play will star two-time Olivier Award winner and Academy Award nominee Imelda Staunton (Sweeney Todd) and film star Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), both popularly known for their roles in the Harry Potter film series (Staunton plays Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge and Jones provides the voice of Dobby the house elf). Directed by James Macdonald, the production is scheduled to run from July 5-August 3 (with an official opening on July 11) at the Rose Lipman Building in Haggerston, London.
Also part of the Theatre Local project, the Royal Court will bring the National Theatre of Scotland's production of David Greig's The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart to the London Welsh Centre in Gray's Inn Road, London WC1. It will run from July 12-August 9 (with an official opening on July 15). From August 5-9, the show will play at CLF Theatre in London's Bussey Building.
Prior to Featherstone's first full season of plays set to begin in September, the company will host Open Court, a six-week festival running from June 10-July 20. It will feature the work of over 140 playwrights in a series mixing plays and events. A repertory company will be created each week, in which 14 actors and four directors will perform six new plays throughout the festival's six-week run. Scheduled plays include Lasha Bughadze's The President Has Come to See You (running June 11-15), New York-based writer Lucas Hnatch's Death Tax (running June 18-22), Suhayla El-Bushra's Pigeons (running June 25-29), Clare Lizzimore's Mint (running July 2-6), New York-based writer Nikole Beckwith's Untitled Matriarch Play (running July 9-13), and Alistair McDowall's Talk Show (running July 16-20).
The Open Court festival will also include an event called Surprise Theatre, which will present a different unknown performance twice nightly every Monday and Tuesday in the Theatre Upstairs (also live-streamed online). Other special Open Court events include Playwright @ Your Table, Lost in Theatre, Found Plays, Soap Opera, The Big Idea: Friday Nights, The Big Idea: PIIGS, The Big Idea: Collaboration, and The Big Idea: Kids Court.