Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Royal Court Upstairs celebrations + Andrew Scott alert

The Royal Court is celebrating 40 years of its more intimate space this week with a series of panels where writers, directors, designers and actors will talk about their experiences Upstairs.

Here's the program:
Tuesday 3 November, 7pm
The Ripple Effect

Five authors of ground-breaking Theatre Upstairs plays discuss their work.
Chair: Mark Ravenhill
Panel includes Bola Agbaje, Winsome Pinnock, Marius von Mayenburg, Snoo Wilson

Wednesday 4 November, 7pm
Is Small Beautiful?
The founder of the Theatre Upstairs, and it’s first Artistic Director discuss programming and directing in the space with more recent Artistic and Associate Directors.
Chair: Jeremy Herrin
Panel includes Max Stafford Clark, William Gaskill, Ramin Gray, Nicholas Wright

Thursday 5 November, 7pm
Infinite Worlds in a Black Box
Designers and other practitioners share how they have explored the potential and approached the limitations of the space over forty years.

Chair Paul Handley
Panel includes Hildegard Bechtler, Jeremy Herbert, Ian Rickson, Ultz

Friday 6 November, 7pm
Close Encounters
Actors discuss the unique experience of defining roles for the first time in the bold, challenging, sometimes notorious work that has originated in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs.

Chair: Daniel Evans
Panel: Sian Brooke, Kenneth Cranham, Daniel Mays, Sophie Okonedo, Andrew Scott

Notice that Andrew Scott will take part in the last panel, which is very exciting of course. Wonder what he'll have to say about the stage.

My own relationship with the Theatre Upstairs has been more positive than with the space Downstairs (which is always a hit-or-miss). I love its smallness, I have always preferred smaller spaces. I first came up those stairs to see the double bill of plays from Sweden and Ukraine "The Good Family"/"The Khomenko Family Chronicles". It was a momentous occassion not just because it was my first contact with an space I love so (and an space I hope to have my plays on someday) but also because it was the first time I saw Harry Lloyd in theatre and since then he's become one of my favourites.

I wish I had gone more often there (& most of the time it was for readings and discussions) but nevertheless it's one of my favourite theatre spaces in London, if not my favourite.

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