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Broadchurch star leads Royal Court season

Published 3 March 2015

Broadchurch star Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Whitechapel’s Claire Rushbrook will appear in the Royal Court’s forthcoming season, as the Sloane Square venue prepares to tackle subjects including the NHS this spring/summer.

Jean-Baptiste and Rushbrook will star in Hang, a new play written and directed by debbie tucker green, from 11 June to 18 July in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs. The shattering drama about a crime, a victim and an unspeakable decision marks tucker green’s return to the venue following Truth And Reconciliation, Random and Stoning Mary.

Jean-Baptiste, whose performance as defence lawyer Sharon Bishop in the second series of ITV drama Broadchurch has had viewers glued to their television screens over recent weeks, makes her Royal Court debut in the production. The actress was last seen on the London stage in Rufus Norris’ Olivier Award-winning production of The Amen Corner at the National Theatre.

Her BAFTA nominated co-star Rushbrook, whose screen credits include Carrie And Barrie and My Mad Fat Diary, returns to the venue following performances in Food Chain, Hated Nightfall and tucker green’s 2005 play Stoning Mary.

Hang will open prior to Michael Wynne’s Who Cares, which places the issue of the NHS centre stage in the run-up to the General Election. Playing from 10 April to 16 May in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs and in hidden places around the building, the verbatim piece is based on interviews that Wynne has conducted with nurses, doctors, paramedics, historians, policy makers and politicians over the past 18 months.

The promenade production, which is directed by Debbie Hannan, Lucy Morrison and Hamish Pirie, is a response to the public passion behind the NHS and aims to give voice to the unheard perspectives on its past, present and future.

Audiences will be led around the Royal Court’s intimate spaces by a cast of performers comprising Philip Arditti (Sixty-Six Books, Bush Theatre), Robert Bathurst (Members Only, Trafalgar Studios), Elizabeth Berrington (The Low Road, Royal Court), Paul Hickey (Children Of The Sun, National Theatre), Martina Laird (The House That Will Not Stand, Tricycle), Nathaniel Martello-White (Teh Internet Is Serious Business, Royal Court) and Eileen O’Brien (Redundant, Royal Court).

Later in the season, Welsh playwright Gary Owen will make his Royal Court debut with Violence And Son, an intimate new play about what parents pass on and trying to do the right thing. The production, which is directed by Pirie and plays in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs from 3 June to 11 July, charts the story of 17-year-old Doctor Who fan Liam. After losing his mother, Liam has moved from London to Wales to live with his dad, whose nickname isn’t Violence for nothing.

Alongside the trio of shows, the Royal Court also announced today the return of children’s playwriting initiative Primetime. The series of new short plays written by primary children aged between eight and 11-years-old will be showcased in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs from 18 July to 25 July.

The venue’s forthcoming season will no doubt hope to follow in the footsteps of its 2014 success, including Jennifer Haley’s acclaimed hit The Nether, which is currently playing in the West End.

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