Paul Bhattacharjee, Anna Calder-Marshall and Jonjo O’Neill are among the actors announced to perform in the Royal Court’s Weekly Rep, which will see a cast of 14 renowned performers take to the stage in six plays for six weeks as part of the acclaimed venue’s summer festival Open Court.
Taking place from 10 June to 20 July, the Open Court programme marks Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone’s first project at the helm of the Sloane Square venue before her first full season begins in September.
Bhattacharjee, who recently appeared in the RSC’s Much Ado About Nothing at the Noël Coward theatre, O’Neill, who starred alongside Billie Piper in hit National Theatre and Headlong co-production The Effect, and Calder-Marshall, who returns to the Royal Court following her performance in Martin Crimp’s In The Republic Of Happiness, will be joined in the cast by Debbie Chazen, Farzana Dua Elahe, Laura Elphinstone, Natasha Gordon, Siobhan Redmond, Ferdy Roberts, Ryan Sampson, Nav Sidhu, Angela Terence, Sam Troughton and Alan Williams, many of whom have appeared at the Royal Court in the past few years.
The Low Road’s Gordon has just finished performing in Dominic Cooke’s final production as Artistic Director at the venue, Elphinstone and Roberts both appeared in If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep earlier this year, Troughton’s credits at the Royal Court include Mike Bartlett’s hit play Love, Love, Love and Chazen appeared in 2012’s In Basildon.
Sidhu (The Empire), Williams (Stoning Mary) and Dua Elahe (Catch) will also make their Royal Court returns in the Weekly Rep, while Sampson (The Kitchen Sink at the Bush), Terence (Lay Down Your Cross at the Hampstead theatre) and Redmond (RSC’s Richard III) will make their venue debuts.
The season of six plays – which will comprise Lasha Bughadze’s The President Has Come To See You, Death Tax by New Yorker Lucas Hnath, Suhayla El-Bushra’s drama about multicultural Britain, Pigeons, director Claire Lizzimore’s debut play Mint, US playwright Nikole Beckwith’s Untitled Matriarch Play (Or Seven Sisters) and Young Writers Programme graduate Alistair McDowall’s Talk Show – will be directed by acclaimed directors Carrie Cracknell, John Tiffany, Caroline Steinbeis and Featherstone.
Playing as part of the Open Court programme – which will also include a surprise theatre experience, a chance to hear a Royal Court playwright read aloud one of their plays, a nightly soap opera in Peckham and a weekly big idea exploring sex, age, death and collaboration – the Weekly Rep is a project pioneered by playwright Caryl Churchill that is designed to echo the famed summer seasons in repertory theatres across the UK.
Talking about her inspiration for the project, Churchill said: “A play doesn’t really exist ’til it’s happened on a stage, and a writer learns more from that than from anything, and can move on and write another one. So even a short rehearsal and short run is worth having. And if a play is done more or less at once, as it was written, though it may be rougher there is less danger of innovation being blunted by too much advice.”
The Open Court programme will begin following Lyndsey Turner’s production of The Victorian In The Wall, which closes on 8 June.