Royal Court announces three new plays for autumn 2023: Imposter 22, Blue Mist, Mates in Chelsea

The Royal Court Theatre has announced three new works to be performed between September and December 2023.

In September the Royal Court will collaborate with Access All Areas for Imposter 22, a playful account of barrier navigation and the politics of neurodiversity.

The new production will be created with the sensory needs of neurodivergent audience members in mind and all performances will be relaxed.

Imposter 22 by Molly Davies (God Bless the Child, A Miracle) is a co-creation with seven learning disabled and autistic artists, who also perform in the piece, from an original idea by neurodivergent Royal Court Associate Director Hamish Pirie (Teh Internet is Serious Business, Violence and Son).

The whodunnit caper has been collectively created, inspired by the lived experiences and imagination of the group. The cast and co-creators – Kirsty Adams, Cian Binchy, Housni Hassan (DJ), Dayo Koleosho, Stephanie Newman, Lee Phillips and Charlene Salter, have developed the piece over the last five years during a workshop process with director Pirie and writer Davies.

Imposter 22 runs in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from 23 September to 14 October 2023.

Blue Mist is a new play by Mohamed-Zain Dada, set in the shisha lounges of North West London.

Directed by Royal Court Associate Director Milli Bhatia (Baghdaddy), the play follows a journalist who sells out his own community, in a candid riposte to the portrayal of South Asian Muslim men in the media.

Blue Mist runs in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs from 5 October to 18 November 2023

Mates in Chelsea by Rory Mullarkey (Pity, The Wolf From The Door), is a contemporary comedy of manners, inspired by Wilde and Wodehouse and set among the dwellers of south west London who remain our country’s ruling class.

Directed by Royal Court Associate Director Sam Pritchard (all of it, Pity), the show will run in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from 3 November to 16 December 2023.

The current season at the Royal Court includes Hope has a Happy Meal by Tom Fowler, a frenetic quest through a hyper-capitalist country, now playing to 8 July 2023; Olivier and BAFTA Award-winning playwright Michael Wynne’s new dark comedy Cuckoo, directed by Vicky Featherstone and running from 6 July to 19 August 2023; and Word-Play by Rabiah Hussain, which plays from 20 July to 26 August 2023.

On 4 and 25 August 2023, the Royal Court Theatre will present two evenings of Azan Ahmed’s sell out poetry nights Deen & Dunya alongside the production of Rabiah Hussain’s Word-Play, offering music and performance to elevate and celebrate Muslim voices.

January 2024 at the Royal Court sees the UK premiere of the Tony Award-winning Dana H. by Lucas Hnath, starring Tony Award-winner Deirdre O’Connell. Dana H. runs in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from 16 January to 9 March 2024.

The Royal Court also announced today a new public call out for writers to submit work from their notes app. Plays from ur notes app encourages writers to share the ‘not quite finished but inspired’ ideas that live in the notes page of a phone. The call out is for new writers who have never written a full length play before and would lead to a sharing of work.

Previous writers who have started their writing careers at the Court as a result of a similar programme include Tom Fowler (Hope Has A Happy Meal) and Jasmine Lee Jones (seven methods of killing kylie jenner).

In September, the theatre will present the results of a new partnership between the Royal Court Theatre and Clean Break. The Playwrights Pathways will see six Clean Break members further their playwriting craft and knowledge of the theatre industry, culminating in a showcase of their work in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs. Since 1979, Clean Break has used theatre to keep the subject of women in prison on the cultural radar, helping to reveal the damage caused by the criminal justice system. Dates are still to be announced.

Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre, said in a press statement: “The writers in our new programme are unified in their desire to take aim at preconceptions, stereotypes, and centres of power. Their words dismantle our understanding of the world, inviting new meanings and a stronger empathy for the communities we live in and among. In the same breath, the work is playful, dynamic, and highly imaginative. In these times we are doing everything we can to keep our work accessible, affordable and vital. Over the next six months, we are responding to audience feedback and trialing a new ticketing initiative. Our tickets that are £25 and below sell very quickly but once they are gone, we know that many of the people who buy those tickets can then not afford to see the work, and it’s essential that we continue to welcome everyone who wants to come to the theatre into the space and reduce the barrier that price presents. The hope is that the initiative will allow more people to see more performances at more affordable prices. It’s a privilege to present my final programme of work as Artistic Director of this extraordinary theatre. Very soon a new visionary will be in place and I’m sure, under their guardianship, the Court will continue to inspire, invigorate and provoke writers, theatre-makers and audiences alike.”

Book tickets to Word-Play

Book tickets to Imposter 22

Book tickets to Cuckoo

Book tickets to Mates in Chelsea

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📷 Main photo: Royal Court Theatre. Photo by Helen Murray

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