23 March 2012





Scientist Stephen Emmott will collaborate with director Katie Mitchell on a new project Ten Billion in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court in a co-production with the Festival d’Avignon from 12 July (press night 18 July).

By the end of this century, the human population is likely to be over ten billion. Just twenty five years ago, it was less than five billion. How are the choices we’re making as a species impacting upon our environment? And how will the sheer force of numbers affect the way we live in the future?

Scientist Stephen Emmott and director Katie Mitchell deliver a new kind of scientific lecture, highlighting key issues being lost in translation in our discussion of the environment.

Ten Billion paints a vivid portrait of a species with its head in the sand.

Dominic Cooke, Artistic Director at the Royal Court said:

“When Katie Mitchell approached me about this project, I was excited. Once I’d met Stephen I knew it was something we had to do. It isn’t a play, it may not even be described as ‘theatre’ and we have never put a scientist centre stage at the Royal Court before, but it could just be one of the most important projects I’ve ever worked on.

“Many of us are concerned about the environmental threats we face but few have an understanding of how climate change, overpopulation and dwindling resources could actually impact the way we live. Stephen’s research points to some alarming possibilities.

“Stephen is a bold, passionate and inspiring scientist and Katie is one of our most thrilling theatre makers. The combination of these talents with a stunning creative team promises a very powerful evening.”

The production will be directed by Katie Mitchell. It will be designed by Giles Cadle, video design by Leo Warner for 59 Production, music by Paul Clark, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Gareth Fry and Lyndsey Turner as Associate Director.

Stephen Emmott is Head of Computational Science at Microsoft Research and Professor of Computational Science at University of Oxford. His lab is recognised for its pioneering approaches to tackling fundamental problems in science; in particular; outstanding problems in predicting the future of the climate, and the future of life on Earth.

Director Katie Mitchell’s recent credits at the Royal Court include includes Simon Stephen’s Wastwater and Martin Crimp’s The City. Other credits include The Trial of Ubu Roi at Hampstead Theatre, After Dido for English National Opera and the Young Vic, and A Woman Killed With Kindness, Pains of Youth,…some trace of her, Waves, Three Sisters and The Seagull at the National Theatre.

Leo Warner is the creative director of 59 Productions, which specialises in the design and integration of film and projection technology into live performance and artistic environments including theatres, concert venues, galleries and museums. Previous collaborations with director Katie Mitchell include Al Gran Sole Carico D’Amore (Staatsoper, Berlin); Five Truths (Victoria & Albert Museum/59); Fräuleine Julie (Schaubühne, Berlin); Idomeneo (English National Opera); Al Gran Sole Carico D’Amore (Salzburg Festival); Wunschkonzert (Schauspiel Cologne); After Dido (ENO/Young Vic); …some trace of her (NT); Attempts on Her Life (NT); Waves (National Theatre).

Ten Billion is in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre from 12 – 18 July and 31 July – 11 August. Tickets available online www.royalcourttheatre.com or on 0207 565 5000 Tickets go on sale today (Friday) to Friends and Supporters and on general sale on Monday 26 March

Creative Team

Director Katie Mitchell
Design Giles Cadle
Video Design Leo Warner for 59 Productions
Composer Paul Clark
Lighting Designer Jon Clark
Sound Designer Gareth Fry
Associate Director Lyndsey Turner

Listings Information

Ten Billion
With Stephen Emmott
Directed by Katie Mitchell
12 – 18 July and 31 July – 11 August
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs: Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS
Monday-Saturday 7.45pm
Saturday Matinees 3.30pm (4 & 11 Aug)
Thursday Matinees 3.30pm (2 & 9 Aug)
Press Night Wednesday 18 July 7pm
Live speech to text translation: Wednesday 8 August
Tickets £20 Mondays all seats £10 (available from 9am on the day of the performance online)
Concessions £15* (available in advance up to and including Wednesday 18 July, and all matinees. For all other performances, available on a standby basis on the day)
School and HE Groups of 8+ £10 (avail. Tue-Fri and mats)
Access £12 (plus a companion at the same rate) *ID required. All discounts are subject to availability.

Coutts is the Principal Sponsor of the Royal Court Theatre

Coutts is the UK private banking arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Coutts has a long history of supporting the arts going back 200 years, having looked after the financial affairs of many famous clients connected with the arts such as Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens and Chopin. In 1816, Thomas Coutts married Harriot Mellon, a popular actress of her day, and together they became partners of a number of London Theatres, including the Drury Lane and the Royal Opera House. Coutts has even featured in a number of artistic works including The Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivan, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In the new millennium, this tradition has continued not only through managing the finances of many of today’s top writers, actors and musicians, but also through our arts sponsorship programme and we are delighted to support The Royal Court and its diverse range of ground-breaking performances.