Royal Court reveals new theatre space

Royal Court New Theatre Space

Chloe Lamford

The Royal Court Theatre has announced an exciting new temporary theatre space, The Site, which will specialise in presenting experimental new work.

Curated by Royal Court associate designer Chloe Lamford (pictured), the programme includes work from writers EV Crowe, Stacey Gregg, Theresa Ikoko, Nathaniel Martello-White and Deborah Pearson.

The Site is a workshop and rehearsal space next door to the London theatre in Sloane Square and rented from Transport for London. Its creative direction is led by both Chloe and Royal Court associate director Lucy Morrison.

Chloe is transforming the space and is offering audiences an invitation: “an experiment in design, collaboration and process”. She has designed a space where language, form, the body and instructions are the materials and where both artists and audiences are invited to rethink how we create, present, and watch plays.

The series of works, listed below, is an experiment, exploring performance through language, physicality and the power of the imagination, created by five playwrights in response to Chloe’s provocation.

As well as being a leading theatre designer, Chloe is well known for her extraordinary collaborations with leading European artists such as Lies Pauwels, Katie Mitchell and most recently Wanda on a pop gig. She has collaborated with Tate Modern and, as associate designer at the Royal Court, is in a constant conversation with the writers to help them challenge form and question the image-based and visual dramaturgy of their work. It is in this spirit that she is leading this project.

Chloe said: “The usual roles in theatre are quite clearly defined; the writer writes a play, a director would then take the play on and then a theatre designer would visualise and create the play from that series of conversations. This time around we’re making a space and then we’re having conversations with five writers in response to this space that we’re making. Each writer is responding to the space in a different way.”

Tickets will be £12 and go on sale today. To increase accessibility to the work there will be a second release of tickets online on Tuesday 2 May at midday plus an allocation of tickets that can be bought in person on the door at every performance.

Lights Out by Stacey Gregg
In 2017 Gregg began to examine strategies used to bridge the gap between socio-economic backgrounds. The project takes place in the context of Lights-Out manufacturing, which refers to factories that are fully automated and require no human workers, thus no need for light.
Running Wednesday 17 May 2017 to Friday 19 May 2017.
Stacey Gregg’s previous theatre work includes: Shibboleth, Perve, When Cows Go Boom (Abbey, Dublin); Scorch (Prime Cut); Cheer Up Kessy (MAC, Belfast); Override (Watford Palace); Perve (La Licorne, Montreal); I’m Spilling My Heart Out Here (NT Connections); Perve (Galway Cúirt International Festival of Literature/Galway Youth Theatre); Huzzies (Tinderbox/MAC, Belfast); Burger Burger Death Burger (Arcola/Soho Poly Festival); Lagan (Ovalhouse/Root Theatre Company); Ismene (ADC Theatre Company); Eveline Syndrome (Arc, Dublin Fringe); 8 Steps to Genocide (The British Holocaust Memorial Day).

It’s All Made Up by Deborah Pearson
Deborah Pearson isn’t very comfortable writing fiction. To her, it feels like lying. As a result, she’s made her career in theatre by telling real stories about her life or her performers’ lives. Chloe has challenged Deborah not to do that. Deborah has been asked to write a made-up story that takes place in a real life place – The Site. Deborah will only start making up the story as soon as she first walks into The Site, always writing from and in The Site. She hopes that what ends up being performed is a string of pathological lies and made-up magic.
Running Wednesday 24 May 2017 to Friday 26 May 2017
Deborah’s theatre work includes: History History History (House on Fire/International tour); Made Visible (Yard); The Future Show (& International tour), Like You Were Before (& national tour), Indiscreet (BAC); Best Friends Forever (Old Red Lion); Long Sentences (Albany); Your Ex Lover is Dead (Arches, Glasgow); Swallow (Soho); and Define Boredom (Bedlam, Edinburgh).

A new work by Nathaniel Martello-White
A provocation
What happened
Did we see what we think we saw?
What are the facts?
Is a square really a square? Or a triangle posing as one?
Or has our capacity to discern a square perished
Truth is in the eye of the beholder
So it’s beauty
So is murder
Or maybe it isn’t
Did we just have that conversation?
In this new unknown space, Nathaniel Martello-White explores the post-truth era where facts have become irrelevant and we are forced to question the “reality” that surrounds us.
Running Wednesday 31 May 2017 to Friday 2 June 2017.
As well as being a successful performer on stage and TV, Nathaniel wrote Torn for the Royal Court and Blackta for the Young Vic.

The Unknown by EV Crowe
There are four basic principles: 1) They are not willed by the individual self; 2) They reflect social reality; 3) They are public rhetoric; 4) They are collectively interpretable. EV Crowe’s real-life dreams will be shared as a play and interpreted by an audience. (Quote source: Nocturnal Omissions: Steps Toward a Sociology of Dreams (pages 95–104), Gary Alan Fine and Laura Fischer Leighton.)
Running Thursday 8 June 2017 to Saturday 10 June 2017.
EV Crowe wrote The Sewing Group, Hero, Kin, and One Runs the Other Doesn’t (Theatre Local) for the Royal Court. Other theatre includes: Brenda (HighTide/Yard); I Can Hear You (RSC); Liar Liar (Unicorn); Doris Day (Clean Break/Soho); Young Pretender (nabokov); and ROTOR (Siobhan Davies Dance).

A new work by Theresa Ikoko
“From creators Chloe Lamford and Theresa Ikoko comes The Site, the brand new, state-of-the-art venue of The Space Between. Welcome. The 107,683,902,202nd contestant will join us shortly. I will be your host. Life points are under your seat. Feel free to use them today. Or save them for your turn. Maybe soon… — The final level. What’s next?”
Running Thursday 8 June 2017 to Saturday 10 June 2017.
Theresa Ikoko’s previous theatre work includes Girls (Talawa/HighTide/Birmingham Rep/Soho) and Joanne (Clean Break /Latitude/Soho).

Watch the full video here of Chloe Lamford discussing the concept of The Site:

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