The Royal Court Theatre has unveiled plans to reopen its doors with a new socially distanced live performance Living Newspaper
A Counter Narrative

From the 12th November, the Royal Court Theatre will be presenting six weekly editions of a living newspaper, with each edition created and edited by a collective of writers.

This new writer-based project draws on the radical history of the Federal Theatre Project of  the US – an arts programme to mobilise and employ unemployed artists and theatre workers surfacing from the Great Depression.  he Federal Theatre Project was a disruptive, responsive, social justice art form for a time of civic and economic trauma and contributed to the development of some of the most extraordinary US voices. The commissioned plays were under the umbrella of Living Newspaper and dealt with issues of the day.    

Led by a collective of writers, and working with freelance artists – actors, designers, stage managers, technicians and choreographers, the Royal Court Theatre aims to create six editions of living newspapers which will be performed in spaces around the theatre.

Commenting on the reopening Royal Court Theatre Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone said: ” I first learnt about The Federal Theatre Project when I was eighteen. It galvanised me then about theatre as a force for change and stuck with me over the years. One day during lockdown I remembered it and how vital it had been not only for saving the theatre industry after the Great Depression but for encouraging those previously underrepresented and for speaking truth to power with celebration and joy. As ever at the Royal Court we turn to our diverse community of writers whose ideas, perspectives, experiences can challenge us, surprise us and can make us imagine the impossible. The aims of Living Newspaper are quite simple, to give as many people as possible work, to bring our theatre back to life and to create something which is urgent, dynamic, political and disruptive – acknowledging the hugely changed and changing times. It is a massive experiment but it is only something radical which has a chance. Onwards!”

Editions will include satire of the week’s events, alongside long-form think pieces, as well as weekly dating columns, cartoons, the world in pictures, a sports section and a surprise theatre supplement. Plus, every week a space will be given to a guest company to create whatever they want in response to the world we are in.

Performances will take place throughout the day from 11am – 11pm Thursday – Saturday from 12th November 2020 – 19th December 2020. Enhanced safety measures will be in place throughout the building to support a socially distant audience. Each edition will be made accessible to all. 

Audiences will be able to watch performances of each living newspaper live at the Royal Court Theatre, or online at home.  More details will be announced in the coming weeks and tickets will go on sale in late October.

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