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Royal Court Theater unveils lineup

Attractions include 'Grasses,' 'Fever'

Miranda Richardson, Mark Rylance, Jane Horrocks, Clare Higgins, and the first new play in more than 10 years from Wallace Shawn are among the attractions of the 2009 spring/summer season at the Royal Court Theater, the U.K.’s leading new writing venue.

Court preems “Grasses of a Thousand Colors,” Shawn’s play, in a production starring the playwright and Richardson. Show (May 12-June 13 with a May 18 opening) will be directed by Shawn’s longtime collaborator Andre Gregory.

“Grasses” is the climax of a season devoted to Shawn. Lineup also sees Royal Court a.d. Dominic Cooke directing Clare Higgins in a revival of Shawn’s solo “The Fever” (April 2-May 2) and Jane Horrocks in “Aunt Dan and Lemon” (May 20- June 27). The latter received its world premiere at the Court in 1985 directed by Max Stafford-Clark, one of Cooke’s predecessors.

Other highlights from the Royal Court slate include a season “Off The Wall,” devoted to productions and readings from and about Germany, marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

“The Stone” (Feb. 5-28, opening Feb. 9) is the latest from Marius von Mayenburg, whose “The Ugly One” was a hit for the Court last year. Plot follows the fortunes of a house that is sold by a Jewish family in 1934 but returns to them 60 years later.

Mark Ravenhill’s latest, “Over There” (Feb. 25-March 21, opening March 2), stars Harry and Luke Treadaway as twins divided by the Berlin Wall struggling to come to terms with each other after 25 years apart.

Tony award-winner Rylance (“Boeing-Boeing”) leads the cast of “Jerusalem,” the new play by Jez Butterworth helmed by his regular director Ian Rickson, whose current Gotham revival of Chekhov’s “The Seagull” opened at the Royal Court in 2007.

Also returning to the Court is Polly Stenham, whose debut “That Face” — written when she was 19 — was one of the most heralded and award-strewn U.K. debuts in years, complete with a successful West End transfer earlier this year. As with “Face,” “Tusk Tusk” (March 28-May 2) will be helmed by Jeremy Herrin.

“Face” was honed via the Royal Court’s prestigious Young Writer’s Program. Two further debut writers will receive full productions: “Shades,” by Alia Bano, directed by Nina Raine (Jan. 28-Feb. 21) and “A Miracle” (Feb. 27-March 21) by Molly Davies, directed by Lyndsey Turner.

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