facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
Are you missing theatre as much as we are? Support us now with Theatre Tokens and see your favourite shows when they reopen.

Cumberbatch at international Royal Court

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 21 April 2008

Benedict Cumberbatch leads the cast of European classics Rhinoceros and The Arsonists, playing in rep at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs this autumn, while five contemporary international plays run upstairs.

Cumberbatch is a familiar face on both stage and screen. He has worked extensively at the Almeida, appearing in The Lady From The Sea, Period Of Adjustment and Richard Eyre’s multi-award-winning production of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, for which he was nominated for a Best Supporting Performance Laurence Olivier Award in 2006. His television work includes Tipping The Velvet, Cambridge Spies and Hawking, which won him a BAFTA nomination. On the big screen he has appeared in Starter For Ten and Amazing Grace and will soon be seen in Atonement and The Other Boleyn Girl.

In Eugène Ionesco’s satire Rhinoceros, in a new version by Martin Crimp, Cumberbatch plays Berenger, a man whose whole world comes under threat when a rhinoceros charges across the town square one Sunday afternoon. The play is directed by Royal Court Artistic Director Dominic Cooke. Cumberbatch also leads the cast of Swiss playwright Max Frisch’s The Arsonists, directed by Ramin Gray, a parable about accommodating the very thing that will destroy you.

Rhinoceros opens on 29 September (previews from 21 September) while The Arsonists opens on 6 November (previews from 1 November); the two plays run in repertoire with the same cast until 15 December. Details of who is joining Cumberbatch in the cast have not yet been released.

Meanwhile, in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Cooke honours his commitment to making internationalism one of the Royal Court’s core principles with a season of plays by contemporary international playwrights. They are: The Ugly One by Germany’s Marius von Mayenburg (13 Sep-13 Oct), Kebab by Gianina Carbunariu from Romania (19 Oct-3 Nov), Free Outgoing by Indian playwright Anupama Chandrasekhar (8-24 Nov) and a double bill of The Good Family by Sweden’s Joakim Pirinen and The Khomenko Family Chronicle by Natalia Vorozhbit of the Ukraine (30 Nov-21 Dec).

Speaking about his decision to stage the plays, Cooke said: “The Royal Court has always been an international theatre, and I intend to celebrate that with the very best drama, new and old, from around the world. Here at the Royal Court, we believe in developing playwriting talent from the grass roots. Each of the writers in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs this season has had an ongoing relationship with the Royal Court’s International Department. These complement our shows in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, which plug back into the early internationalist days of the Court, and a spirit of European iconoclasm.”



Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.