As part of the current three-play Royal Court at the Duke of York’s Season with Posh by Laura Wade, Jumpy by April De Angelis and Constellations by Nick Payne, four of the UK’s leading playwrights will direct one of their all-time favourite plays in a series of one-off afternoon readings from 29 June at the Duke of York’s Theatre in a special event supported by The Ambassador Theatre Group.
Nick Payne, Polly Stenham, Roy Williams and David Eldridge will select their favourite plays and will have less than two days to bring their vision to life with a full cast to be announced for staged readings on Friday afternoons this summer.
The line-up for Playwright’s Playwrights is as follows:
Nick Payne (Constellations, Wanderlust) directs Kenneth Lonergan’s The Starry Messenger on Friday 29 June at 2pm
Polly Stenham (Tusk Tusk, That Face) directs John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger on Friday 6 July at 2pm
Roy Williams (Sucker Punch, Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads, Clubland, Fallout) directs Barrie Keeffe’s Abide with Me on Friday 13 July at 2pm
David Eldridge (In Basildon, Market Boy, Under the Blue Sky) directs Robert Holman’s Across Oka on Friday 20 July at 2pm
The Starry Messenger
by Kenneth Lonergan directed by Nick Payne
Fri 29 June, 2pm
The life of ailing astronomy lecturer Mark Williams takes an unexpected turn following a chance encounter with local nurse Angela Vasquez. A play about marriage, death and the Solar System.
“Kenneth Lonergan is one of the most humane, thoughtful and quietly intelligent writers working today. I adore his plays – and The Starry Messenger, as yet unperformed in the UK, is a shining example of everything I admire about his work.” – Nick Payne
Cast: Richard Bremmer, Monica Dolan, Daisy Haggard, Harry Melling, Ben Miles, Felix Scott, Alexis Zegerman.
Look Back in Anger
by John Osbourne directed by Polly Stenham
Fri 6 July, 2pm
Holed up in a cramped flat in a large Midlands town with his wife Alison and friend Cliff, Jimmy Porter has got something to say. Look Back in Anger rocked theatre and society in the summer of 1956, and blasted open the doors for a generation of angry young men.
“I chose Look Back because it was the beginning. The beginning of the Court, of modern theatre as we know it. We are in debt to this play.” – Polly Stenham
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, Anna Maxwell Martin, Matt Ryan, Julian Wadham.
Abide with Me
by Barrie Keefe directed by Roy Williams
Fri 13 July, 2pm
It’s the Cup Final. Factory workers and ardent United fans Jan, Louis and Paul wait outside Wembley Stadium, desperate for tickets. Uncle Harold has promised to get them in, but will he turn up? Feelings run high and events are in danger of spiralling out of control.
“When I was a teenager, I was looking out for stuff that spoke to me; in the 1980s, most TV drama was ladies in petticoats and posh kids with hockey sticks. Barrie Keeffe wrote about being young and working-class, and gave me a sense of self. His work taught me that theatre was the place to hear original voices. His plays are gritty and, although there is a lot of anger, they are not overly political. They tell a good story that makes you laugh and cry, and taught me that an audience needs to be left with a multitude of emotions, rather than be dictated to.” – Roy Williams
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Sam Swann, Morgan Watkins.
by Robert Holman directed by David Eldridge
Fri 20 July, 2pm
Holman’s modern classic follows sixteen year old Matty from the North East of England to the wilds of the Oka reserve on a journey to try and save the Siberian crane from extinction.
“It’s one of my desert island plays, that sings with truth, and is a beautifully humane meditation on thawing relations between East and West as the cold war ends, our capacity for self-destruction, and how the future is always in the hands of the young.” – David Eldridge
This Royal Court in the West End event has been made possible through generous support of the Ambassador Theatre Group.
Select a Date
Dates in June
|Fri 29 Jun 2012||2:00pm||Duke of York's Theatre, St. Martin's Lane WC2N 4BG||The Starry Messenger|
Dates in July
|Fri 6 Jul 2012||2:00pm||Duke of York's Theatre, St. Martin's Lane WC2N 4BG||Look Back in Anger|
|Fri 13 Jul 2012||2:00pm||Duke of York's Theatre, St. Martin's Lane WC2N 4BG||Abide with Me|
|Fri 20 Jul 2012||2:00pm||Duke of York's Theatre, St. Martin's Lane WC2N 4BG||Across Oka|
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