The Royal Court Theatre, located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, is a non-commercial West End theatre and a leading venue for new writing. It has gone by many names like the Belgravia Theatre, the New Chelsea Theatre, and the Court Theatre.
One of London’s Most-visited Theatres
The English Stage Company acquired the theatre in 1956. The building remains its home to date, contributing remarkably to contemporary theatre. Every year, more than 120,000 people visit the theatre; many others see its productions through the West End and Broadway transfers, UK, and international tours.
The History of the Royal Court Theatre
The building in Sloane Square was built on the site of the previous building. It reopened as the New Court Theatre on 24th September 1888. Bertie Crewe and Walter Emden designed it in beautiful red moulded and fine brick along with an Italianate style stone façade. The venue’s capacity was originally 841 seats across the gallery, amphitheatre, dress circle and stalls. The first show to play here was Mamma, a play by Sydney Grundy starring John Hare and Mrs John Wood. By the end of the 20th century, the venue changed its name back to the Royal Court Theatre again. In the 1970s, English Heritage designated it a Grade II listed building.
The theatre also served as a cinema before the Second World War. However, after suffering bomb damage, the building underwent renovation. It then entered a golden age following its acquisition by the English Stage Company. The premiere of John Osborne’s show Look Back In Anger took place here, after which the image of British theatre changed forever!
The Royal Court Theatre consists of two main spaces, upstairs and downstairs. The above space opened in 1969 with a premiere of The Rocky Horror Show. However, the building had to close in 1995. After closing, lottery funding helped it with extensive renovation and allowed it to later reopen in 2000. Both the 90-seat Jerwood Theatre Upstairs and 400-seat Jerwood Theatre Downstairs comprises of flexible seating allowing different configurations for each show. The theatre downstairs is divided into three levels – Balcony, Circle and Stalls. Being small and intimate in size, both the spaces offer a quality view to the audiences.
The Venue in Recent Times
Dominic Cooke has been the theatre’s Artistic Director since 2007, with Jeremy Herrin as Deputy Artistic Director and Sacha Wares as Associate Director. Before Cooke, the venue’s ADs were Ian Rickson from 1998 to 2006, George Devine, William Gaskill, Anthony Page, Lindsay Anderson, Oscar Lewenstein, Nicholas Wright, Robert Kidd, Stuart Burge, Max Stafford-Clark, and Stephen Daldry.
In the past decade, the Royal Court Theatre turned its focus towards the production and development of creative works from around the world. The theatre has delivered numerous hits and popular shows since 2010, including Posh by Laura Wade, starring Simon Shepherd, Kit Harington, Richard Goulding, Daniel Ryan, and several others. In 2015, there was Hangmen by Martin McDonagh, with Matthew Dunster directing and starring David Morrissey and Johnny Flynn.
Royal Court Theatre is located in London. The full address is Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London SW1 8AS.
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two Palestinians go dogging tickets go on sale later this year
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Purple Snowflakes and Titty Wanks by Sarah Hanly makes its way to the Royal Court Theatre in London's West End in summer 2020.
Debris Stevenson returns to the Royal Court with Poet in da Corner
My Name is Why In Conversation with Lemn Sissay is set to be the biggest live reading event of the year! Book your tickets early!
“It will be the biggest send off any teacher has ever had. No teacher is as loved”
Critically acclaimed staging of three short plays by the first African American Pulitzer Prize winner, Suzan-Lori Parks
Nanjing by Jude Christian
Rory Mullarkey’s new play at the Royal Court Theatre
The Royal Court's White Pearl is the new debut play by New Yorker Anchuli Felicia King
See debbie tucker green's new play for the Royal Court.
The Song Project sets to make a return in 2020 after a phenomenal beginning in 2019
On Bear Ridge tickets are available for an extremely limited run starring Rhys Ifans.
Maxine Peake stars in How To Hold Your Breath at the Royal Court Theatre.
A Kind of People by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti
The award-winning play Is God Is by Aleshea Harris brings us a gripping tale of vengeance
A Fight Against... by Pablo Manzi l translated by William Gregory
The team behind Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reunite in The End of History at Royal Court Theatre
E.V. Crowe's Shoe Lady comes to the Royal Court for a limited season next Spring. Tickets available October 2019.
Rare Earth Mettle the radical new play by Al Smith in a strictly limited season. Tickets available October 2019.
Cyprus Avenue returns to London's Royal Court Theatre with Stephen Rea reprising his award winning role