Roger Allam and Colin Morgan in Caryl Churchill’s A  N U M B E R

A Number

Polly Findlay will direct Roger Allam and Colin Morgan in Caryl Churchill’s play A Number at the Bridge Theatre.  Previews begin on 14 February 2020 with the opening night on 19 February and final performance on 14 March 2020.  Booking opens today to Bridge Priority members; public booking opens at 10am on 22 November 2019.

Designs are by Lizzie Clachan with lighting by Peter Mumford, sound by Carolyn Downing, music by Marc Tritschler and casting by Robert Sterne.

 How might a son feel to discover that he is only one of a number of identical copies? What happens when a father is confronted by the results of an outrageous genetic experiment?

Roger Allam, who plays the father, Salter, is best known on television as Fred Thursday in the ITV series Endeavour.  He has a wide and extensive range of work in film, TV, theatre and radio.  On stage he has played Macbeth and created the role of Javert in Les Misérables for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  He played Prospero and Falstaff for Shakespeare’s Globe, and has appeared in many productions for the National Theatre including Summerfolk and most recently Rutherford and Son.  He starred in Aladdin at the Old Vic, the musicals City of Angels and La Cages Aux Folles, as well as Art and Boeing Boeing in the West End.  His film credits include The QueenTamara DreweThe Lady In The Van and The Hippopotamus.  His television credits include Parades EndThe Missing and The Thick of It for the BBC.  His many radio credits include Cabin Pressure, the Government Inspector, and How Does That Make You Feel?

Colin Morgan, who plays all of Salter’s sons, was last on stage at the Old Vic in All My Sons. His previous theatre credits include Translations at the National Theatre, Gloria at Hampstead Theatre and Mojo at the Harold Pinter Theatre. His television credits include HumansThe FallThe Living and The DeadMerlin for which he was the recipient of the Best Drama Performance at the National Television Awards. On film his credits include The Happy PrinceBenjaminTestament of Youth.

Caryl Churchill’s playwriting credits include OwnersLight Shining in BuckinghamshireTrapsCloud NineTop GirlsFenSerious MoneyIce Cream, Mad ForestThe SkrikerBlue HeartThis is a ChairFar AwayA Dream PlayDrunk Enough to Say I Love You?, Seven Jewish ChildrenLove and InformationHere We GoPigs and DogsEscaped Alone and Glass.Kill.Bluebeard.Imp. Her Music theatre credits include Lives of the Great Poisoners and Hotel, both with Orlando Gough. Caryl Churchill has also written for radio and television.

Polly Findlay’s more recent directing credits include The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Limehouse for the Donmar Warehouse, The Alchemist and The Merchant of Venice for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Rutherford and SonBeginning and As You Like It for the National Theatre.

A Number won Best Play at the 2002 Evening Standard Drama Awards. 


T H E   B O O K   O F   D U S T  –   L A   B E L L E   S A U V A G E



 Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage will be directed by Nicholas Hytner in Bryony Lavery’s new stage adaptation.  Designs are by Bob Crowley, video designs by Luke Halls, lighting design by Bruno Poet, puppetry by Barnaby Dixon and music by Grant Olding.  The associate directors are Emily Burns and James Cousins who is also movement director.  Casting will be announced at a later date.

Previews begin on 11 July with opening night on 23 July. The final performance will be on 10 October 2020. Booking opens today for Priority members and public booking opens at 10am on 22 November 2019.

La Belle Sauvage takes place twelve years before Pullman’s epic His Dark Materials trilogy.

Two young people and their dæmons, with everything at stake, find themselves at the centre of a terrifying manhunt. In their care is a tiny child called Lyra Belacqua, and in that child lies the fate of the future. And as the waters rise around them, powerful adversaries conspire for mastery of Dust: salvation to some, the source of infinite corruption to others.

 La Belle Sauvage was published in 2017 and was followed last month by The Secret Commonwealth.  His Dark Materials, which had a ground-breaking production sixteen years ago by Hytner at the National Theatre, is currently being broadcast on BBC1. Philip Pullman was knighted this year for his services to literature.

For the stage Bryony Lavery’s work includes the internationally critically acclaimed Frozen as well as Stockholm, Kursk, Dirt and Beautiful Burnout.  Last year her adaptation of David Walliams’ The Midnight Gang was presented at Chichester Festival Theatre where her previous adaptations The Hundred and One Dalmatians and A Christmas Carol were also seen.

Nicholas Hytner co-founded the London Theatre Company with Nick Starr.  He was Director of the National Theatre from 2003 to 2015, where the productions he directed included The History BoysHamletOne Man, Two Guvnors, and Othello.  His films include The Madness of George IIIThe Lady in the Van and The History Boys.  His book Balancing Acts is published by Jonathan Cape. For The Bridge, Hytner has directed Young Marx, Julius CaesarAllelujah!Alys, Always, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Two Ladies. 



T H E Y   S H O O T   H O R S E S ,   D O N ’ T   T H E Y ?

Marianne Elliott and Steven Hoggett will direct They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? in Paula Vogel’s new play based on the novel by Horace McCoy.  Previewing at The Bridge Theatre from 31 October 2020 with opening night on 17 November, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? will run until 30 January 2021.  Booking opens today to Bridge Priority members and public booking opens at 10am on 22 November 2019.

Set design is by Bob Crowley with music by Charlotte and Mike Truman and casting by Charlotte Sutton.  Casting will be announced at a later date.

 They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? is a co-production between London Theatre Company and Elliott & Harper ProductionsBrandon Millan and Rick Sparks.

The real-life dance marathons of Depression-era America could last weeks, even months. Paula Vogel’s new play is based on Horace McCoy’s classic story of ambition, desperation and determination. In Marianne Elliott and Steve Hoggett’s production, the Bridge will be transformed into a 1930s dance hall. Seating in the pit will offer audience the chance to join the dance via a ballot.

American playwright Paula Vogel received the Pulitzer Prize for her play How I Learned to Drive. Her other plays include Indencent (Tony Award Nomination for Best Play) The Long Christmas Ride HomeThe Mineola Twins, The Baltimore Waltz, Hot ‘N’ Throbbing, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven, The Oldest Profession, and A Civil War Christmas.

 Marianne Elliott most recently co-directed Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman (alongside Miranda Cromwell) at the Young Vic which, following its West End transfer, is currently playing at the Piccadilly Theatre.  Previously Elliott directed the award-winning production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company which transfers to Broadway next year and the West End premiere of Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle for Elliott & Harper.  During her time as Associate Director at the National Theatre her award-winning productions include Angels in AmericaWar Horse (co-directed with Tom Morris) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.  She was previously Artistic Director at the Royal Exchange Theatre and has also directed for the Royal Court Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Old Vic and the Donmar Warehouse.

Steven Hoggett was most recently the movement director for Ocean at the End of the Lane at the National TheatreHis previous credits for the National Theatre include Pinocchio, Light Princess, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (also on Broadway and West End), Dido Queen of CarthageThe Hot House and Market Boy. His West End theatre credits include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre (also performed internationally), Close To You – Bacharach Reimagined at the Piccadilly The Twits at the Royal Court and Once at the Phoenix Theatre (also performed on Broadway). His Broadway theatre credits include Joan of Arc: Into the Fire at the Public Theatre, The Crucible at the Walter Herr Theatre, Angels in America and The Last Ship  at the Neil Simon Theatre, Rocky at the Winter Gardens The Glass Menagerie at A.R.T and the Booth Theatre, Peter and the Starcatcher at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre and American Idiot at the St James Theatre. Opera includes Rigoletto at the Met. Hoggett was a founding co-artistic director of Frantic Assembly for which his credits include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, LovesongOthelloLittle DogsBeautiful BurnoutStockholmPool (No Water) and Dirty Wonderland. His film credits include How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Freak Show.

 Elliott & Harper Productions was founded in 2016 by Marianne Elliott, Chris Harper and Nick Sidi.  Elliott & Harper’s London production of Company at the Gielgud will transfer to Broadway, opening at The Bernard Jacobs Theatre in March 2020. Their other recent credits include the highly acclaimed co-production of Death of a Salesman at the Young Vic Theatre (directed by Marianne Elliott and Miranda Cromwell) which is now playing in the West End.  Elliott & Harper co-produced the Broadway transfer of the National Theatre’s production of Angels in America directed by Marianne Elliott.  Other productions include Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle at the Wyndham’s Theatre directed by Marianne Elliott and their production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, directed by Sally Cookson at the Leeds Playhouse and now in previews at The Bridge.

Rick Sparks is the recipient of 20 American theatre awards. He directed and adapted I Love Lucy Live On Stage for its long running American regional sit-downs and national tours. This followed producing & directing A Clockwork Orange (Drama Critics’ Circle Award), Psycho Beach Party (L.A. premiere), ClutterHighballs Ahoy!Sheila Sands Live At The Roxy co-produced by Lily Tomlin and Off-Broadway’s Down South.  Sparks may be best known for his critically acclaimed adaptation & direction of They Shoot Horses Don’t They?, which galloped away as the commercial and critical hit of its Los Angeles season. As an actor, his Broadway credits include CatsLes Misérables and Sunset Boulevard.


J O H N   G A B R I E L   B O R K M A N


 Simon Russell Beale will play the title role in Henrik Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman at the Bridge Theatre.  Directed by Nicholas Hytner and in a new version by Lucinda Coxon, John Gabriel Borkman will have its first performance on 11 February 2021 with opening night on 18 February 2021 with the run concluding on 17 April 2021.  Designs are by Vicki Mortimer.  Booking opens today for Bridge Priority members and public booking is from 10am on 22 November 2019.   Further casting and the full creative team will be announced at a later date.

 John Gabriel Borkman, once an illustrious entrepreneur, has been brought low by a prison sentence for fraud. As he paces alone in an upstairs room, bankrupt and disgraced, he is obsessed by dreams of his comeback. Downstairs, his estranged wife plots the restoration of the family name. When her sister arrives unannounced, she triggers a desperate showdown with the past.

Simon Russell Beale has most recently been seen on stage in The Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre and in the West End with the production due to open on Broadway in March next year.  His previous credits for the National Theatre include King Lear50 Years on Stage, Timon of Athens, CollaboratorsLondon Assurance, Major Barbara, Much Ado About NothingThe Life of GalileoThe AlchemistJumpers  also West End and New York, Humble Boy also in the West End, HamletBattle RoyalCandideSummerfolkMoneyOthelloRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Volpone.  For the Royal Shakespeare Company his credits include The TempestKing Lear, Ghosts, the title roles in Richard III and Edward IIThe SeagullTroilus and CressidaThe Man of Mode and Restoration. In the West End his credits include Monty Python’s Spamalot, Privates on Parade and Death Trap. On television his credits include Vanity Fair, Legacy, Parkinson: Masterclass, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, Spooks, John Adams, Dunkirk, The Young Visiters, Great Historians: Gibbon, A Dance to the Music of Time, Persuasion and The Mushroom Pickers and on film The Death of Stalin, My Week with Marilyn, The Deep Blue Sea, The Gathering, Alice in Wonderland, An Ideal Husband, The Temptation of Franz Schubert and Hamlet.

 Lucinda Coxon previously collaborated with Nicholas Hytner at The Bridge on the world premiere of Alys, Always.  Her other theatre writing credits include Herding CatsHappy Now, The Eternal NotNostalgiaThe Shoemaker’s WifeVesuviusWishbonesThree GracesThe Ice Palace and Waiting at the Water’s Edge.  Her screen writing credits include the award-winning The Danish Girl starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, The Little Stranger starring Domhnall Gleeson and Ruth Wilson, The Crimson Petal and The White starring Romola Garai for the BBC, Wild Target starring Emily Blunt and The Heart of Me starring Paul Bettany and Helena Bonham-Carter.

Nicholas Hytner directs.  His previous collaborations with Simon Russell Beale include The AlchemistMuch Ado About NothingMajor BarbaraCollaboratorsLondon Assurance and Timon of Athens at the National Theatre.          

Cast announced for Caryl Churchill’s Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp. including Toby Jones and Deborah Findlay

Kwabena Ansah, Caelan Edie, Deborah Findlay, Louisa Harland, Toby Jones, Patrick McNamee, Tom Mothersdale, Rebekah Murrell, Sarah Niles, Leo Rait and Sule Rimi have been cast in the world premiere of Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp., four plays written by Caryl Churchill and directed by James Macdonald. With set design by Miriam Buether, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Jack Knowles and sound design by Christopher Shutt.

The four plays will be performed back to back and will run in the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Wednesday 18 September 2019 – Saturday 12 October 2019, with press night on Wednesday 25 September 2019, 7pm.

“I can see her just. Most people can’t see her at all.”

A girl made of glass. Gods and murders. A serial killer’s friends. And a secret in a bottle. Four stories by Caryl Churchill.

Caryl Churchill’s most recent play Escaped Alone, opened at the Royal Court to critical acclaim and transferred to New York. Many of her plays which first premiered at the Royal Court are now considered modern classics including Top Girls, A Number and Far Away.

Director James Macdonald’s recent work for the Royal Court includes One For SorrowThe Children (and New York), Escaped Alone(and New York), and The Wolf From The Door.



Other characters played by – Kwabena Ansah, Louisa Harland, Patrick McNamee

A girl made of glass – Rebekah Murrell


People – Caelan Edie/Leo Rait

Gods – Tom Mothersdale

Bluebeard’s Friends

Company – Deborah Findlay, Toby Jones, Sarah Niles, Sule Rimi


Dot – Deborah Findlay

Niamh – Louisa Harland

Jimmy – Toby Jones

Rob – Tom Mothersdale



Caryl Churchill (Writer)

At the Royal Court: Escaped Alone, Pigs & Dogs, Love & Information, Seven Jewish Children, Drunk Enough To Say I Love You?, A Number, Far Away, This is a Chair, Blue Heart, Mad Forest, Ice Cream, Serious Money, Fen, Top Girls, Cloud 9,Traps, Light Shining In Buckinghamshire, Owners.

Other theatre includes: Here We Go, The Skriker (National).

Music theatre includes: Lives of the Great Poisoners, Hotel (both with Orlando Gough).

Caryl has also written for radio & television.

James Macdonald (Director)

For the Royal Court: One For Sorrow, The Children (& MTC/Broadway), Escaped Alone

(& BAM, NYC), The Wolf From The Door, Circle Mirror Transformation, Love &

Information (& NYTW), Cock (& Duke, NYC), Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? (&

Public, NYC), Dying City (& Lincoln Center, NYC), Fewer Emergencies, Lucky Dog,

Blood, Blasted, 4.48 Psychosis (& St Ann’s Warehouse, NYC/US & European tours),

Hard Fruit, Real Classy Affair, Cleansed, Bailegangaire, Harry & Me, Simpatico,

Peaches, Thyestes, Hammett’s Apprentice, The Terrible Voice of Satan, Putting Two &

Two Together.

Other theatre includes: The Night of the Iguana, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Father, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Changing Room (West End); True West

(Roundabout/Broadway); The Way of the World, Roots (Donmar); John, Dido Queen of Carthage, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Exiles (National); Wild, And No More Shall We Part, #aiww – The Arrest of Ai Weiwei (Hampstead); The Father (Theatre Royal, Bath/Kiln); Bakkhai, A Delicate Balance, Judgment Day, The Triumph of Love (Almeida); The Chinese Room (Williamstown Festival); Cloud Nine (Atlantic, NYC); A Number (NYTW); King Lear, The Book of Grace (Public, NYC); Top Girls (MTC/Broadway); John Gabriel Borkman (Abbey, Dublin/BAM, NYC); The Tempest, Roberto Zucco (RSC); Troilus und Cressida, Die Kopien (Schaubuehne, Berlin); 4.48 Psychose (Burgtheater, Vienna); Love’s Labour’s Lost, Richard II (Royal Exchange, Manchester); The Rivals (Nottingham Playhouse); The Crackwalker (Gate); The Seagull (Crucible, Sheffield); Miss Julie (Oldham Coliseum); Juno & the Paycock, Ice Cream/Hot Fudge, Romeo & Juliet, Fool for Love, Savage/Love, Master Harold & the Boys (Contact, Manchester); Prem (BAC/Soho Poly).

Opera includes: A Ring A Lamp A Thing (ROH); Eugene Onegin, Rigoletto (Welsh

National Opera); Die Zauberflöte (Garsington); Wolf Club Village, Night Banquet (Almeida Opera); Oedipus Rex, Survivor from Warsaw (Royal Exchange,

Manchester/Hallé); Lives of the Great Poisoners (Second Stride).

Film includes: A Number.

James was an Associate and Deputy Director at the Royal Court for 14 years and was also a NESTA fellow from 2003 to 2006.


Kwabena Ansah (Glass)

Theatre includes: Start Swimming (Young Vic Parallel).

Television includes: The Athena, Enterprice.

Film includes: #Haters, Limbo.

Caelan Edie (Kill)

Theatre includes: Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, The Bodyguard (West End).

Film includes: The Intent 2: The Come Up.

Deborah Findlay (Bluebeard’s FriendsImp)

For the Royal Court: The Children (& MTC/Broadway), Escaped Alone

(& BAM, NYC), Tom & Viv, Top Girls (& Off-Broadway), The Overgrown Path.

Other theatre includes: Allelujah (Bridge); Coriolanus, Moonlight, John Gabriel Borkman, The Cut, The Vortex (Donmar); The Winslow Boy (Old Vic); Timon of Athens, The Winter’s Tale, Rules for Living, Stanley (& Broadway), The Mandate, Mother Clap’s Molly House, Once in a While (National); Vincent River (Off-Broadway); The Glass Menagerie (Young Vic); Like a Fishbone, Keyboard Skills, Commitments (Bush); Separate Tables (Chichester Festival); The Way of the World, The Crucible (Crucible, Sheffield); Tongue of a Bird, Hedda Gabler (Almeida); The Beaux’ Stratagem, The Seagull (Tour); The Clandestine Marriage (& tour), The House of Bernarda Alba, Madame de Sade (West End); As You Like It, King Lear (Oxford Stage Company); Macbeth (Nuffield, Southampton); Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, The Three Sisters, The New Inn, School for Scandal (RSC).

Television includes: The Split, Collateral, Midsomer Murders, Holby City, Law & Order: UK, Lovesick, Life in Squares, Coalition, Leaving, Poirot, Torchwood, Gunrush, Lewis, New Tricks, Thin Ice, Cranford, Wives & Daughters, Silent Witness, Anna Karenina, The Family Man, Foyle’s War, State of Play.

Film includes: Making Noise Quietly, Hampstead, Kaleidoscope, Jackie, The Lady in the Van, The Ones Below, Suite Francaise, Summer, Vanity Fair, Me Without You, The End of the Affair, Jack & Sarah, Truly Madly Deeply.

Awards include: Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress, New York Drama League Prize for Outstanding Performance, Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play (Stanley); OBIE award (Top Girls).

Louisa Harland (GlassImp)

Theatre includes: Love Letter to the NHS: Cotton Fingers (National Theatre Wales).

Television includes: Derry Girls, Finding Joy, Harley & the Davidsons, Love/Hate.

Film includes: Boys from County Hell, Lost in London, Sunday Tide, Standby.

Toby Jones (Bluebeard’s FriendsImp)

For the Royal Court: Circle Mirror Transformation, The Birth of a Nation.

Other theatre includes: The Birthday Party (West End); The Painter (Arcola); Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, The Walls (National); Measure for Measure (National/Complicite); Parlour Song (Almeida); The Dumb Waiter & Other Pinter Pieces (Playhouse, Oxford); The Play What I Wrote (West End/Broadway).

Television includes: Don’t Forget the Driver, Detectorists, Sherlock, The Secret Agent, The Witness for the Prosecution, Wayward Pines, Capital, The Girl, Marvellous.

Film includes: Naked Normandy, Journey’s End, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Snowman, Kaleidoscope, Happy End, Infamous, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Berberian Sound Studio, Tale of Tales, Atomic Blonde, Dad’s Army, Morgan, The Man Who Knew Infinity, The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 & 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Leave to Remain, By Ourselves, My Week with Marilyn, The Adventures of Tintin, Frost/Nixon, W., The Painted Veil.

Awards include: BAFTA for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme (Detectorists); London Film Critics Circle Award for Best British Actor (Infamous); Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor (The Play What I Wrote).

Patrick McNamee (Glass)

Theatre includes: Touching the Void (Bristol Old Vic/West End); French Without Tears (Orange Tree); The History Boys (Selladoor).

Television includes: Our Girl, Inspector George Gently.

Film includes: The Pebble & the Boy, The Invisible Hours.

Tom Mothersdale (KillImp)

For the Royal Court: The Woods.

Other theatre includes: Dealing with Clair (Orange Tree); John, Cleansed (National); Oil (Almeida); Richard III, The Glass Menagerie, Boys, Romeo & Juliet (Headlong); Crave, 4.48 Psychosis (Crucible, Sheffield); The Cherry Orchard (Young Vic); In Lambeth (Southwark); Missing Dates (Hampstead); King Lear (BAM, NYC/Chichester Festival); Thursday (Adelaide International Festival); The Revenger’s Tragedy (Independent Productions); Iphigenia, Pride & Prejudice (Theatre Royal, Bath); An Ideal Husband (West End); The Comedy of Errors (Globe); A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky (Lyric, Hammersmith).

Television includes: Treadstone, Van der Valk, Hanna, Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams: The Hood Maker, Doc Martin, King Charles III, Endeavour, Peaky Blinders.

Film includes: Overlord, Unseen, The Rain Collector, Actress.

Awards include: Ian Charleson Award (The Cherry Orchard).

Rebekah Murrell (Glass)

As performer, theatre includes: Whitewash (Soho); Nine Night (National/West End); The Host (Yard).

As director, theatre includes: J’Ouvert (Theatre503); Interrupted (JW3).

As performer, television includes: Being Victor, Myths, The Roman Mysteries.

As performer, radio includes: Blend, The Gift.

Sarah Niles (Bluebeard’s Friends)
For the Royal Court: B, Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), Truth & Reconciliation.

Other theatre includes: Richard II (Globe): Leave Taking, Bones (Bush); Boy (Almeida); The Crucible (Old Vic); Anthony & Cleopatra (RSC/Off Broadway); Table, Mrs Affleck (National); A Question of Freedom (Feelgood); The Long Road (Curve, Leicester); The Quiet Little Englishman (Zho Visual); Play Size (ATC/Young Vic); The Bogus Woman, The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe, To Kill a Mockingbird (Haymarket, Leicester); Entarete Musik (Amazonia Theatre Company); Lowdown High Notes (Red Ladder); Black Love (Black Arts Development Project); Caucasian Chalk Circle (Manchester Library).
Television includes: Trust Me, Marley’s Ghosts, Lucky Man, My Baby, Catastrophe, Spotless, Death in Paradise, Waterloo Road, Being Human, Thorne: Sleepyhead, Beautiful People, Mister Eleven, Doctor Who, Peep Show, Touch of Frost.

Film includes: Still, Austenland, Cuban Fury, Now Is Good, London Boulevard, Games Men Play, Happy-Go-Lucky.

Leo Rait (Kill)

Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp. is Leo’s professional debut.

Sule Rimi (Bluebeard’s Friends)

Theatre includes: Sweat (& West End); Measure for Measure (Donmar); All My Sons, The American Clock (Old Vic); Love & Information, Desire Under the Elms (Crucible, Sheffield); Barber Shop Chronicles (& Leeds Playhouse/Australia & New Zealand tour), The Suicide (National); Hamlet, Who’s There? (& Flute), The Odyssey: Missing, Presumed Dead (ETT); Mary Stuart, They Drink It in the Congo (Almeida); The Rolling Stone (Royal Exchange, Manchester/Leeds Playhouse/Orange Tree); Bordergame (National Theatre Wales).

Television includes: Black Earth Rising, Death in Paradise, Birds of a Feather, Strikeback, Unforgotten, Stella, Doctor Who. 

Film includes: Pink Wall, Indifferent, The Adventurer: Curse of the Midas Box, The Machine, Little Munchkin, Francis, Prawn, Starter for Ten.

Caryl Churchill’s fourth new play IMP announced

Glass, Kill, Bluebeard and Imp

Following last month’s announcement of new work which included details of three new Caryl Churchill plays, the Royal Court Theatre announced today a fourth play, Imp,  just received from the celebrated writer.

Glass, Kill, Bluebeard and Imp will be directed by James Macdonald and will run in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs Wednesday 18 September 2019 – Saturday 12 October 2019 with press night on Wednesday 25 September 2019, 7pm.

Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre Vicky Featherstone said;

“As Artistic Director of the Royal Court the precious moment when a play by Caryl Churchill arrives fully formed, breaking new ground and utterly surprising us is what this job is all about.

I thought the delight I felt when she sent Glass, Kill and Bluebeard would be unsurpassed. Imagine then the joy when two weeks ago the wonderful Imp dropped into my inbox. So now we have four new and extraordinary plays by Caryl in our autumn season. Not three.”

Set design by Miriam Buether, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Jack Knowles and sound design by Christopher Shutt.

“I can see her just. Most people can’t see her at all.”

A girl made of glass. Gods and murders. A serial killer’s friends. And a secret in a bottle. Four stories by Caryl Churchill.

Caryl Churchill’s most recent play Escaped Alone, opened at the Royal Court to critical acclaim and transferred to New York. Many of her plays which first premiered at the Royal Court are now considered modern classics including Top Girls, A Number and Far Away.

Director James Macdonald’s recent work for the Royal Court includes One For SorrowThe Children (and New York), Escaped Alone(and New York), and The Wolf From The Door.

Caryl Churchill (Writer)

For the Royal Court: Escaped Alone (& BAM, NYC), Pigs & Dogs, Love & Information, Seven Jewish Children, Drunk Enough To Say I Love You?, A Number, Far Away, This is a Chair, Blue Heart, Mad Forest, Ice Cream, Serious Money, Fen, Top Girls, Cloud 9,Traps, Light Shining In Buckinghamshire, Owners.
Other theatre includes: Here We Go, The Skriker (National).
Music theatre includes: Lives of the Great Poisoners, Hotel (both with Orlando Gough).
Caryl has also written for radio & television.

James Macdonald (Director)

For the Royal Court: One For Sorrow, The Children (& MTC/Broadway), Escaped Alone (& BAM, NYC), The Wolf from the Door, Circle Mirror Transformation, Love & Information (& NYTW), Cock (& Duke, NYC), Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? (& Public, NYC), Dying City (& Lincoln Center, NYC), Fewer Emergencies, Lucky Dog, Blood, Blasted, 4.48 Psychosis (& St Ann’s Warehouse, NYC/US & European tours), Hard Fruit, Real Classy Affair, Cleansed, Bailegangaire, Harry & Me, Simpatico, Peaches, Thyestes, Hammett’s Apprentice, The Terrible Voice of Satan, Putting Two & Two Together.

Other theatre includes: John, Dido Queen of Carthage, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Exiles (National); The Night of the Iguana, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Father, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Changing Room (West End); The Tempest, Roberto Zucco (RSC); Wild, And No More Shall We Part, #aiww – The Arrest of Ai Weiwei (Hampstead); The Father (Theatre Royal, Bath/Kiln); Bakkhai, A Delicate Balance, Judgment Day, The Triumph of Love (Almeida); The Way of the World, Roots (Donmar); The Chinese Room (Williamstown Festival); True West (Roundabout/Broadway); Cloud Nine (Atlantic, NYC); A Number (NYTW); King Lear, The Book of Grace (Public, NYC); Top Girls (MTC/Broadway); John Gabriel Borkman (Abbey, Dublin/BAM, NYC); Troilus und Cressida, Die Kopien (Schaubuehne, Berlin); 4.48 Psychose (Burgtheater, Vienna); Love’s Labour’s Lost, Richard II (Royal Exchange, Manchester); The Rivals (Nottingham Playhouse); The Crackwalker (Gate); The Seagull (Crucible, Sheffield); Miss Julie (Oldham Coliseum); Juno & the Paycock, Ice Cream/Hot Fudge, Romeo & Juliet, Fool for Love, Savage/Love, Master Harold & the Boys (Contact, Manchester); Prem (BAC/Soho Poly).

Opera includes: A Ring A Lamp A Thing (Linbury); Eugene Onegin, Rigoletto (Welsh National Opera); Die Zauberflöte (Garsington); Wolf Club Village, Night Banquet (Almeida Opera); Oedipus Rex, Survivor from Warsaw (Royal Exchange, Manchester/Hallé); Lives of the Great Poisoners (Second Stride).

Film includes: A Number.

James was an Associate and Deputy Director at the Royal Court for 14 years and was also a NESTA fellow from 2003 to 2006.

Listings Information:



Four plays written by Caryl Churchill
Directed by James Macdonald 
Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS
Wednesday 18 September 2019 – Saturday 12 October 2019
Monday – Saturday 7.30pm
Thursday & Saturday matinees 2.30pm
Captioned Performances Wednesday 2 & 9 October 2019
Audio Described Saturday 12 October 2019, 2.30pm with Touch Tour 1pm
Relaxed Environment Performance
 Saturday 5 October 2019, 2.30pm
Press Performance Wednesday 25 September 2019, 7pm.
Standard Tickets £12-£49 (Mondays all seats £12 available from 9am online on the day of performance)
First Look Tickets
Concessions* £5 off Band A – C seats for previews and matinees
Under 26s
Access £15 (plus a companion at the same rate)
*ID required. All discounts subject to availability.

Pigs and Dogs – Caryl Churchill communicates with vigour, that socially, politically and historically – we’ve got a long way to go

‘You Western-backed goats,
They forced us into slavery and killed millions. Now they want us to accept the sinfulness of homos.It shall not work.’

Pigs and Dogs at The Royal Court Theatre.

Pigs and Dogs at The Royal Court Theatre. © Alastair Muir

Both excitingly well made and strikingly formulaic. The three highly diverse leads are uniformly excellent. Sharon D Clarke is effortless in Caryl Churchill’s pertinent new play.

The title of the play is borrowed from  President Mugabe of Zimbabwe, who said, “If dogs and pigs don’t do it, why must human beings?”

Pigs and Dogs boasts fine performances and nimble direction by Dominic Cooke. It doesn’t entirely evade the issue at its core – a brief history of homophobia and anti-homosexuality laws – instead it efficiently embraces the subject. Characters collide regardless of race or gender in a thrilling fifteen minutes.

This engaging piece succeeds well at what it sets out to do: wrapping an important message in a story told by rich voices. Nevertheless, both excitingly well made and dispiritingly formulaic; the actors pace the stage. The play is substantially based on material from ‘Boy-Wives and Female-Husbands’ by Stephen O. Murray and Will Roscoe.

A riveting short which, were it fiction, might be disbelieved as dystopia. For me, Churchill communicates, with vigour, that socially, politically and historically – we’ve got a long way to go.

Cast (in alphabetical order)
Fisayo Akinade
Sharon D Clarke
Alex Hassell

Director: Dominic Cooke
Lighting Designer: Jack Williams
Sound Designed: David McDeveney
Costume Supervisor: Lucy Walshaw
Stage Manager: Caroline Meer
Dialect Coach: Hazel Holder


David Eldridge, Playwright Interview: “If you don’t want to change people, even a tiny bit, through the experience of your writing then don’t write.”

 Playwright David Eldridge

David Eldridge ( Picture credit – Keith Pattison/Royal Court Theatre 2012)

Questions: Carl Woodward
Answers: David Eldridge (Obviously)
David Eldridge is a prolific playwright. His work has been seen on our country’s biggest stages (The National, Donmar Warehouse, Hampstead theatre and The Royal Court to name a few.
He was busy marking essays but agreed to talk to me for a few minutes.
Just don’t get him started on cooking…

Hello! Where are you and what are you up to? 
Right now it’s 8.30am and I’m at home in north London. I’ve just had a bowl of porridge and I’m catching up on a few emails before I head to my office to crack on for the day. Not a writing day today though. I’ve a pile of plays to grade as I teach part-time at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Your work has been commissioned by the National, The Royal Court, Bush, Hampstead, Almeida theatres and many more. Do you ever pinch yourself? 
All the time. I always remember vividly a time in my early twenties when I was living at my mum and dad’s after Uni and working in the evening in the hotchpotch old extension at home. As I was writing I could hear the sound of my dad outside in the garden shed tapping heels in to women’s shoes at 10p or 20p a pair a time to earn a bit more extra money for him and mum and by extension me. I always think about that when I’m struggling with what I’m writing. I never want to be that writer that signs a card to a friend “David Eldridge”. In a sense Dominic Dromgoole is right about me in his book. I’m incredibly serious about what I do and totally committed. But there’s another part of me that could not give a fuck. Having a play on at one of those theatres is great but it’s always the audience that makes the play, wherever it’s on and much of a writer’s life is quite lonely and boring. I’d be quite happy cooking full time (I write now on a laptop on the kitchen table) and the best days are days spent cooking and writing. Last May I spent a Sunday when my girlfriend was away making a Dal Makhani (which has to be cooked very slowly and with real care) and writing. It was perfect. Being a parent is the most important and fulfilling thing in my life. What’s making a play compared to raising a child and trying to be a good dad?

 I was chatting to a writer recently and she said that a lot of the writing process is about when the planets align, when that perfect moment comes along. Do you work to that principal or do you have a knack to force the planets into alignment?
I can see a bit of truth in that. Just this autumn I had an unexpected gap partly because a film company couldn’t get together a meeting for a few weeks to give notes on a draft of a screenplay I’ve written. My fingers were itchy and I couldn’t sit still and I wrote a play I’d been wanting to write for ten years, but never found the right moment until then. On the other hand I think when we talk about planets aligning it makes me cringe a bit. No disrespect to the other writer but I believe more in screenwriter William Goldman’s approach “Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting Demon never leaves you, that Demon being the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right. No matter how diamond-bright your ideas are dancing in your brain, on paper they are earthbound.” Its work, writing. I think you get the first draft out. And then you rewrite until its ready to share. Managements never see anything less than my third draft. I think a lot of young and new writers are crazy to show managements their first drafts. Your third or fourth draft should be the managements first draft. It’s play-WRIGHT. Do the graft. That’s not to say you don’t collaborate and often you rewrite a lot more. But do your job first.

Which other writers would you recommend at the moment?
Oh God. There are so many brilliant playwrights, we’re very lucky in the UK. I think Penelope Skinner, debbie tucker green and Annie Baker are the bees knees. Anna Jordan and Chris Urch both wrote wonderful Bruntwood Award winning plays. Gary Owen has had a great year as has Jack Thorne, both of whom I admire hugely. How does Caryl Churchill still do it? I said to someone recently she’s “our Picasso, our Pankhurst, our Bowie, our Orbach” and I believe that. Robert Holman is a great playwright and fortunately not such a secret pleasure any more after the last few years. But my mind is full this morning of Leo Butler’s “Boy” which I saw last night. It’s fantastic and brave and true and unlike anything else. He’s not always had a great luck (his Royal Court downstairs debut premiered on 9/11) but this play is a reminder he’s one of our best and most thoughtful playwrights painting on a big canvass. Really Rufus Norris should commission him to write for one of the big spaces at the NT. While Rufus is at it he should try and persuade screenwriter Sarah Phelps to write for theatre again. She’s ace.

What would be the worst way to die?
My paternal great-grandmother was burned alive in a house fire. I don’t want to go that way and I don’t want any of my nearest and dearest to go that way.

Easy question: what’s the best play ever written?
Yeah, right do one mate. Seriously you’ve got to be kidding. I’m a play geek. You could get a dissertation length answer. For me, this morning it’s Shakespeare’s “King Lear”. I don’t think that can ever change for me because it’s the play that turned me on to theatre aged 17.
What word do people incorrectly use to describe your work?
It seems that you’re quite ambitious in terms of wanting your work to make an impression. 
If you don’t want to change people, even a tiny bit, through the experience of your writing then don’t write. If I was running a theatre I would not programme or commission writers that are merely wanking or getting the next play on the shelf.
If for some reason I had to ban you from making theatre is there something else you’d like to do?
Well I’d write for TV or film (as I am already) or write a novel which I want to write, or I might get to spend enough time on some of my poems so they’re good enough to actually show someone one day. But as I say I’d be happy cooking. I’d be happy being a full time dad.
Anything you’d like to add? 
Writing for performance is an odd endeavour as its all collaboration in the end. But you have to be independent (and absolutely not dependent on others) and do your job and know yourself and your work as much as possible to be the best you can be in that collaboration. A collaboration that often starts with you alone one morning, wasting time on social media in your PJ’s and ends several years later in a little theatre above a pub in W12 with an audience. You don’t make the best work if the writer gets lost along the way.

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Mark Ravenhill, Playwright: “There is really only one rule to learn before writing a play”.

Mark Ravenhill
Mark Ravenhill

Mark Ravenhill

Mark Ravenhill is a playwright. 20 years later ‘Shopping and Fucking‘ still looks like it’s from the future and Mark continues to look ahead. I thought it would be nice to catch up with Mark to see exactly what’s happening. And I was right – it was very nice indeed.
Despite not really doing interviews he agreed to a chat. Here’s what happened.

Hi Mark Ravenhill. If you were to draw a graph of the last ten years, how would it look?
Some leaps of imagination needed here.  First, that I could draw a graph. Which I can’t.  I’ve never been able to stick to the squares on graph paper. And second, that I have the kind of mind that imagines shapes that fit on graph paper.  Which I don’t have either.  So my graph of the last ten years would me trying to think in a way which I can’t, using a medium that I’m not suited to.  In other words, my graph of the last ten years would be one of messy failure. That is not a metaphor. Or a cry for help.

A view from Islington north

A view from Islington north


What can you tell us about A View From Islington North the ‘evening of political satire’ you are contributing to with Out of Joint? ‘A View From Islington North’ is a celebration of Max Stafford-Clark’s relationships with playwrights.  All the playwrights who’ve written the pieces have had work directed by Max over decades. He first directed work by Caryl Churchill and David Hare in the 1970s.  I’m one of the johnny-come-latelies, having only first worked with him twenty years ago.  Max is a brilliant, infuriating, insightful and relentless director

What’s your favourite emoji?
The winky one

Shopping and Fucking

Shopping and Fucking

Shopping and Fucking is often described as a period piece isn’t it.
I don’t know how other people describe it (if it all) but yes I would describe it as period piece. I wanted to write what it felt like to be in your twenties in that moment in time.  It doesn’t have any references to contemporary events outside the play but it’s whole mood and style belongs to the late 1990s. It’s a play that is sorted for Es and whizz.

With writers it feels like there’s a constant expectation, and that they need to keep proving themselves, throughout their career. Which perhaps isn’t quite the same for a director where you can just keep going until you fall over. Is that a fair analysis?
Do you think so?  I think directors suffer from constant expectation and many fall out of favour and fashion.  But it’s true that there is a high burn out with playwrights.  Some have one brilliant debut at somewhere like the Royal Court upstairs and then never write again. Plenty write three or four plays and then find they have no more plays to write.  Very few write plays over a lifetime. I’m fifty this year. To ensure that I too ‘can just keep going until you fall over’ I’ve mapped out a cycle of forty full length plays.  I’m committed to writing one a year, finishing each one on my birthday June 7th.  So that will take me until I’m 90, when I will fall over and die as I will have advanced osteoporosis.
If you were to write a playwriting rulebook, what would Rule One be?
There is really only one rule to learn before writing a play.  Never under any circumstances use the line ‘the door was open so I let myself in’. Everything else is allowed.
Let’s imagine we’re putting theatre as an art form in a capsule to sending it into space, which one play do you put forward?
One play to represent the whole of world theatre?  Wouldn’t it need to be a DVD of a performance? (the question is in danger of conflating a ‘play’ with ‘theatre’).  But let’s say it’s a play text.  I think it would have to be one of the Greeks. That’s drama in its purest and arguably most powerful form.  I would pick Sophocles’ ‘Antigone’, although it could just as well be Euripides ‘Medea’ or Aeschylus “Oresteia’.  How about I write a new English version and we ping that into space alongside the Ancient Greek text?
Do you endlessly analyse your creative decisions or are you impulsive?
I write first drafts almost entirely on impulse and then use analysis (often aided by the director and sometimes the actors) to work through further drafts.

Do you pay attention to critics?
I’ll listen to anyone who can help me understand what I’m doing and how I might get better at it.
To the people who are still reading, do you have a final message?
The door is still open. Let yourself out. Thank you.