tue 18/06/2024

Royal Court

First Person: playwright Tom Fowler on allowing room for 'Hope'

Recently, having just shared the rehearsal draft of my current Royal Court play Hope has a Happy Meal with two close friends, I found myself slightly offended when one of them said, "you can tell you were playing the Nintendo Switch obsessively when...

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All of It/Hope Has a Happy Meal, Royal Court review - surreal pleasures

The summer season at the Royal Court, London’s premiere new writing venue, features two plays which imaginatively explore the human condition using elements of the surreal and the dystopic as well as the real. Or, to put it more accurately, both...

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Black Superhero, Royal Court review - ambitious, but messy

The act of idol worship is, at one and the same time, both distantly ancient and compellingly contemporary. Whether it is Superman, Wonder Woman or Black Panther, our love of the superhero is both an aspiration and an abnegation. Looking at a star,...

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Graceland, Royal Court review - quiet desolation is too literary

Is new writing becoming increasingly literary? Recently, some of the language being used by younger playwrights seems to me to be becoming too subtle, something to be savoured on the page rather than strongly felt in live performance. Certainly,...

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Sound of the Underground, Royal Court review - loud and triumphantly proud

Ever been to a queer club? You know, drag cabaret night at Madame Jojo’s, or the Black Cap or Her Upstairs. No? Well, not to worry – the Royal Court’s latest provides a fabulously extravagant simulation of the experience with its staging of Sound of...

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Baghdaddy, Royal Court review - Middle-Eastern magic realism

What is the best way of talking about the Middle East? Should plays take a documentary or verbatim approach, all the better to educate and inform, or is there another path, with includes entertainment, and that magic ingredient called theatricality?...

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‘Stripping naked the process of making theatre’: Martin Crimp talks about his latest play

The fictional world is our world, but at the same time it’s another place. We want our writers to invent interesting characters, gripping plots and to take us to unexpected places. We want them to delight us, and sometimes to fright us. We want to...

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Jews. In Their Own Words, Royal Court review - calling out ancient prejudice

What is the Royal Court theatre for? Is it a space that stages innovative new writing, or does it prefer to do documentary theatre? Is it concerned with reaching out beyond its regular audiences, or is it more focused on its own internal problems?...

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That Is Not Who I Am, Royal Court review – gimmicky post-truth spoof

What is the shelf life of a theatre gimmick? In April, the Royal Court announced that they were going to stage a debut play by an unknown writer, Dave Davidson, who has worked for decades in the security industry. His drama was hyped up, helped by...

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For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, Royal Court review - Black joy, pain, and beauty

The title is so long that the Royal Court’s neon red lettering only renders the first three words, followed by a telling ellipsis. But lyrical new play For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy lives up to its weighty...

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Cock, Ambassadors Theatre review – brutal, bruising and brilliant

Mike Bartlett’s Cock invites suggestive comments, but the main thing about the play is that it has proved to be a magnet for star casting. Its original production at the Royal Court in 2009 starred Ben Whishaw, Andrew Scott and Katherine Parkinson....

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Purple Snowflakes and Titty Wanks, Royal Court review – fearless, frank and feminist

Irish teenager Saoirse Murphy has a dirty mouth. And she’s not afraid to use it when talking to the nuns at her convent school. But it soon emerges that her feistiness is a cover for some very disturbing problems in Sarah Hanly’s energetic debut...

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