McDiarmid, Greig among actors lined up
The latest play from Alexi Kaye Campbell (“The Pride”) and six other world preems make up the ambitious Fall season at London’s new writing powerhouse the Royal Court.Under a.d. Dominic Cooke, the theater is on a roll. Cooke’s own revival of Arnold Wesker’s “Chicken Soup With Barley” has just opened to rave reviews, his production of “Clybourne Park” recently completed a hugely successful West End transfer and the Broadway transfer of “Jerusalem” is up for six Tonys at Sunday’s awards ceremony. Campbell’s “The Faith Machine” travels between America, Britain and a remote Greek island as it charts the battle between faith and capitalism. Helmed by Jamie Lloyd, the production stars Tony winner Ian McDiarmid (“Faith Healer,” “Star Wars”), Hayley Atwell and Kyle Soller. The production starts previews Aug. 24 ahead of an Aug. 31 press night. April de Angelis returns to the Court with her frank new comedy, “Jumpy,” examining a mother’s mid-life crisis. Cast is led by Tamsin Greig and the play is directed by Nina Raine, who most recently helmed her own play “Tiger Country” to SRO success. Previews start Oct. 13 with a press night on Oct. 19. Joe Penhall, whose screenplays include “The Road” and “Enduring Love,” returns to the stage with “Haunted Child” running Dec. 2-Jan 14, 2012. Helmed by Jeremy Herrin, the play examines a small boy’s fears and questions what we see and believe. The final play in the main house theater is David Eldridge’s “In Basildon” (Feb. 16- Mar. 24). Helmed by Cooke and designed by Ian MacNeil (“An Inspector Calls,” “Billy Elliot”), the play is a family drama that explores the idea of inheritance and the myth of place. Three further plays premiere in the Court’s Theater Upstairs. “Truth and Reconciliation” is the latest from experimental writer Debbie Tucker Green (Sept. 1-Sept. 24 with a Sept. 5 press night). “Bang Bang Bang,” by Stella Feehily and helmed by Max Stafford-Clark (Oct. 12-Nov. 5), is a co-production with Out of Joint, Curve Theatre in Leicester, The Octagon in Bolton and Salisbury Playhouse. The final play in the Upstairs season is “The Westbridge,” the debut of Rachel De-lahay, which sees a black teenager facing extreme accusations leading to disturbances on South London streets. De-lahay was part of the Unheard Voices Writers Program which supports and develops writers whose perspectives are under-represented on British stages. De-lahay’s play is already the joint winner of this year’s Alfred Fagon Award, the pre-eminent prize for playwrights of African and Caribbean descent.