New Martin McDonagh play at Royal Court

Published July 15, 2015

Martin McDonagh will return to the Royal Court to present his first new play to be seen on the London stage in more than a decade this September, when Hangmen receives its world premiere at the Royal Court Theatre.

The play, which tells the story of England’s second best hangman on the day that hanging is abolished, is one of four world premieres and two UK debuts presented at the Sloane Square venue this autumn, with other new works on offer from playwrights including Cordelia Lynn, Nicola Wilson and Penelope Skinner.

Set in an Oldham pub, Hangmen is the latest offering from Irish playwright McDonagh whose plays include The Pillowman, The Lieutenant Of Inishmore and The Cripple Of Inishmaan, the latter of which was revived in the West End in 2013 starring Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe.

Directed by Matthew Dunster (Liberain Girl) in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from 10 September to 10 October, it charts the story of hangman Harry as cub reporters and pub regulars gather to hear his reaction to the abolishment of his profession. But amongst the crowds a stranger lurks with an entirely different motive.

Prior to Hangmen’s world premiere, Lynn’s Lela & Co. will kick off the season from 3 September to 3 October with her tale of a young girl trapped in an increasingly tiny world. An urgent and poetic story based on real-life events in Albania, the production will be directed by Jude Christian in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs.

Next up in the autumn season is Wilson’s Royal Court debut Plaques And Tangles. Playing from 14 October to 21 November in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Plaques And Tangles tells the story of Megan, who on the day before her wedding discovers that she has a 50-50 chance of developing early onset Alzheimer’s.

Directed by Lucy Morrison (Pests), the production follows Megan as she lurches through time on a wild memory trip while her young family is left to deal with the consequences.

Skinner, whose Olivier Award nominated play The Village Bike premiered at the Royal Court in 2011, will present Linda, a tale about a woman determined to change the world, from 25 November to 9 January.

The playwright’s first offering for the venue’s Jerwood Theatre Downstairs is directed by Constellations’ Michael Longhurst and follows the story of Linda Wilde as she embarks on her biggest plan to date.

UK premieres come in the form of RoosevElvis, a devised multimedia piece from Brooklyn-based ensemble The TEAM, and You For Me For You by Korean-American playwright Mia Chung.

A new work about gender, appetite and the multitudes we contain, RoosevElvis will play from 21 October to 14 November in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs. Performed by The TEAM’s Libby King and Kristen Sieh, it will take audiences on a hallucinatory trip from the Badlands to Graceland as the spirits of Elvis Presley and Theodore Roosevelt fight it out for the soul of shy meat-processing plant worker Ann.

Completing the season is Chung’s You For Me For You. Directed by Richard Twyman (Fireworks) in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs from 3 December to 9 January, the production follows North Korean sisters Minhee and Junhee as they’re torn apart at the border, provoking a race across time and space to be reunited again.

The Royal Court’s Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone has described her new season as “emcompass[ing] all that the Royal Court is about”, before going on to say “This is the very best in fearless and excoriating writing for theatre. These plays start a conversation which probe and provoke, asking questions of our time and ourselves.”

Casting for the newly announced season is due to be announced on 17 July.