Royal Court Announces New Shows Including Tony-Winner DANA H.

Deirdre O'Connell will reprise her award-winning performance as Dana

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Deirdre O'Connell in the Broadway
production of Dana H.
Photo Credit: Chad Batka

The Royal Court Theatre has announced it will present four new works between April and August 2023 as well as a Tony Award-winning Broadway transfer in 2024.

The works announced today include writers who are new to the Royal Court stages alongside returning playwrights, there are three brand new plays as well as national and international transfers and collaborations. The theatre has also announced a new Living Archive project for over 1600 plays, and a storytelling project created with Jewish community groups across the UK.

Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of The Royal Court Theatre, said:
"We are absolutely thrilled to be announcing this varied and beautiful season of work. All the writers and projects are questioning in very different ways our need for community, a need to belong and be understood, a place which holds us. Added to that we are finally able to give the first opportunity in our amazing history at the Royal Court to create and open up a Living Archive, questioning what archive is and how it can help us think about the future. We hope that people will enjoy engaging with us in all these different ways, looking both into our past and being immersed in stories which are fiercely about the now."

The newly announced productions will begin with No I.D. by Tatenda Shamiso, telling the story of his experience as a Black transgender immigrant in the UK, fresh from a run at the Vaults, in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs from Tuesday 18 April - Saturday 6 May.

Hope has a Happy Meal by Tom Fowler, a frenetic quest through a hyper-capitalist country will run in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs from Saturday 3 June - Saturday 8 July.

In the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Olivier and BAFTA Award-winning playwright Michael Wynne returns to the Royal Court with Cuckoo from Thursday 6 July - Saturday 19 August. In partnership with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, this new dark comedy will be directed by Royal Court Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone.

Word-Play by Rabiah Hussain will then play in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs from Thursday 20 July - Saturday 26 August, exploring how language seeps into public consciousness.

In January 2024, the UK premiere of the Tony Award-winning Dana H. by Lucas Hnath will play at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from Tuesday 16 January - Saturday 9 March 2024.

Deirdre O'Connell will reprise her award-winning tour-de-force performance as Dana, a psych ward chaplain who was held captive by a patient in a series of Florida motels for five months. Dana Higginbotham's remarkable true story is told in her own words and using her own voice, with recorded interviews reconstructed for the stage by Dana's son, playwright Lucas Hnath, and meticulously lip-synced by O'Connell.

Directed by Les Waters, Dana H. was first presented at the Vineyard Theatre in New York in 2020, where it received three Obie citations, two Lortel Awards and the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Unique Theatrical Experience. Transferring to Broadway's Lyceum Theatre, it received three Tony Award nominations, winning Best Actress in a Play (Deirdre O'Connell) and Best Sound Design (Mikhail Fiksel).

In June, for the first time in Royal Court history, the theatre will create a stand-alone online archive. A playground for all theatre geeks, audiences, students, educators and lovers of new writing, Living Archive will hold information on over 1600 plays put on on Royal Court stages from 1956 to the present day. Users will be able to search through the site or to take pathways created by guest curators-writers who will be regularly invited to lead users to their particular passions and inspirations. It will be a permanent work in progress, constantly evolving, with ways for everyone to contribute to and enhance the content.

The Royal Court has also announced Machloket - a disagreement for a greater good, a storytelling project created with Jewish community groups across the UK. Working in partnership with Tash Hyman, Nick Cassenbaum and Take Stock Exchange, the project will create a nationwide conversation exploring what it means to be Jewish in the UK today.

The Royal Court is in London's West End this spring with The Royal Court Theatre, Nouveau Riche and New Diorama Theatre production of For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets too Heavy by Ryan Calais Cameron. It will be at Nimax's The Apollo for a limited run of six weeks from Saturday 25 March - Sunday 7 May 2023 and has been nominated for Olivier Awards for Best New Play and Best Supporting Actor for the ensemble.

The additional Jerwood Theatre Downstairs production for the April-August period will be announced alongside the 2023 Festival d'Avignon programme announcement on Wednesday 5 April. Further information on upcoming productions will be announced in due course.

Tickets for all newly announced productions go on sale to supporters from 12.00pm on Monday 20 March 2023, to Friends at 12.00pm on Wednesday 22 March 2023, and to the general public at 12.00pm on Friday 24 March 2023.


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