Three writers who have found success at the Royal Court – Roy Williams, Laura Wade and Bola Agbaje – will head back to the Sloane Square venue in 2010 to premiere three new works.
Agbaje, who won a Laurence Olivier Award for her first Royal Court outing Gone Too Far!, returns with Off The Endz (11 February to 13 March), a piece about three twenty-somethings from a London estate struggling to find the right path out.
Wade, whose Royal Court debut Breathing Corpses saw her win the Critics’ Circle Most Promising Playwright Award in 2005, focuses on a very different section of society in POSH (9 April to 22 May). Set at Oxford University, it tells of the Riot Club, a select society aiming to restore their right to rule.
Following Off The Endz and POSH, Williams’s Sucker Punch (11 June to 24 July) will see the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs reconfigured to tell the story of two former friends stepping into the ring and facing up to who they are. Williams, whose Category B is currently playing at the Tricycle theatre, uses this new piece to explore what it was like to be young and black in the 80s.
The spring season in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs begins with two playwrights presenting their second pieces at the Royal Court.
Anupama Chandrasekhar follows 2007’s Free Outgoing with Disconnect (17 February to 20 March), the story of graduates in India renamed and rebranded as they work in call centres trying to claw back the cash from Americans crippled by debt.
Like Chandrasekhar, DC Moore saw his first play, Alaska, premiere at the Royal Court in 2007. He returns in 2010 with The Empire (31 March to 1 May). Set in Helmand, where British soldier Gary and his Afghan colleague Hafizullah guard an injured prisoner, it dissects the politics of occupation, home and abroad.
Nick Grosso, whose previous Royal Court productions include Peaches and Kosher Harry, returns to the new writing venue in May with a tough new comedy about addiction, Ingredient X (20 May to 19 June).
The season closes with the premiere of the first play by Anya Reiss, Spur Of The Moment (14 July to 14 August). Written by Reiss when she was just 17, it is the story of pre-teen Delilah, who enjoys High School Musical, swim parties and ogling the lodger. While her parents argue, they barely notice their 21-year-old tenant starting to notice her.
Speaking about the new season, Royal Court Artistic Director Dominic Cooke said: “As the world finds its way through financial crisis and the nation faces a general election, this season our writers ask how far we have really come in terms of our ability to move within the class structure. From the boxing rings of Roy Williams’s East End to Laura Wade’s depiction of privileged students born to rule, via Indian call centres and army ranks in Afghanistan, the programme sees the welcome return of some of our most esteemed writers whilst launching the career of some outstanding newcomers.”
In addition to the new season, two Royal Court successes transfer to the West End in the new year. Current Royal Court hit Enron opens at the Noël Coward theatre in January with Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem, starring Mark Rylance, opening at the Apollo theatre in February.