sun 28/02/2021

Royal Court

theartsdesk Q&A: Theatre Producer Elyse Dodgson

The Royal Court Theatre has long been a leader in new British drama writing. Thanks to Elyse Dodgson, who has died aged 73, it has built up an international programme like few others in the arts, anywhere. At the theatre, Elyse headed up readings,...

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Poet in da Corner, Royal Court review - mind-blowing energy plus plus plus

There was once a time when grime music was very angry, and very threatening, but that seems a long time ago now. Today, Dizzee Rascal is less a herald of riot and revolt, and more of a national treasure, exuding charm from every pore, even if his...

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The Woods, Royal Court review - Lesley Sharp triumphs again

Blackout. Dark, the colour of childhood fear. Black, the colour of despair. Black. No light visible; no colours to see. Just pitch black, maybe even bible black. This is how Robert Alan Evans’s The Woods, which stars the brilliant Lesley Sharp and...

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Pity, Royal Court review - whacked-out and wearing

The apocalypse arrives as a series of collegiate sketches in the aptly-named Pity, the Rory Mullarkey play that may well prompt sympathy for audiences who unwittingly find themselves in attendance. Less provocative by far than this same writer's...

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One for Sorrow, Royal Court review - imploding family drama

It’s the stuff of nightmares. There’s a massive explosion, the sound of smashing glass, falling debris and police sirens. Gunshots. Panic in the streets. It could be the November 2015 Paris terror attacks, in which the Bataclan venue was the scene...

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Notes From the Field, Royal Court review - sobering report from the frontline of race

Anna Deavere Smith contains multitudes. As the solo performance artist recounts the testimonies she has selected from the more than 250 people she interviewed for this portrait of inequality and the criminal justice system in America, it is as if...

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The Prudes, Royal Court review - hilarious but frustrating sex show

Playwright Anthony Neilson has always been fascinated by sex. I mean, who isn’t? But he has made it a central part of his career. In his bad-boy in-yer-face phase, from the early 1990s to about the mid-2000s, he pioneered a type of theatre that...

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Instructions for Correct Assembly, Royal Court review - Jane Horrocks in Middle England 'Westworld'

There’s a whole universe which British theatre has yet to explore properly – it’s called the sci-fi imagination. Although this place is familiar from countless films and television series, it is more or less a stranger to our stages. With notable...

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Black Men Walking, Royal Court review - inspiring and exhilarating

In the same week that saw the arrival of Arinzé Kene’s Misty, a play that passionately questions the clichés of plays about black Britons (you know, gun crime, knife crime and domestic abuse), Black Men Walking opens at the Royal Court. Having...

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Girls & Boys, Royal Court review - Carey Mulligan is stunningly brilliant

This is Carey Mulligan week. She appears, improbably enough, as a hard-nosed cop in David Hare’s BBC thriller Collateral, as well as onstage at the Royal Court in London’s Sloane Square (she’s much better live than on film). In a 90-minute monologue...

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Gundog, Royal Court review - tedious and inconsequential

First the goats, and now the sheep – has this venue become an urban farm? Rural life, which was once so central to our English pastoral culture, is now largely absent from metropolitan stages. And from our culture. Apart from The Archers or the...

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Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Royal Court review - iconic 1980s title makes a welcome return

The revival that almost didn't make it into town has got the Royal Court's 2018 mainstage offerings off to a rousing start. For a while, it looked as if this fresh appraisal of a benchmark 1982 Court title would close on the road, a casualty of the...

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