The Royal Court Theatre is reopening with a 'Living Newspaper' based on a historical US theatre project, with three weekly performances across six weeks in November live at the Royal Court and accessible online at home. These performances will be led by writers, and working with freelance artists – actors, designers, stage managers, technicians and choreographers.
'Living Newspaper' was a major writer-based project drawing on the radical history of the Federal Theatre Project of the US – an arts programme to mobilise and employ unemployed artists and theatre workers surfacing from the Great Depression. The Federal Theatre Project was a disruptive, responsive, social justice art form for a time of civic and economic trauma and contributed to the development of the some of the most extraordinary US voices. The commissioned plays were under the umbrella of 'Living Newspaper' and dealt with issues of the day.
Each weekly edition will be created and edited by a collective of writers to make a live newspaper with headlines, features and columns which will be performed in spaces around the Royal Court building. Performances will take place throughout the day from 11am – 11pm Thursday – Saturday from 12 November. Enhanced safety measures will be in place throughout the building to support a socially distant audience. Each edition will be made accessible to all.
Editions will include satire of the week’s events, alongside long-form think pieces. There will be weekly dating columns, cartoons, the world in pictures, a sports section and a surprise theatre supplement. Plus, every week a space will be given to a guest company to create whatever they want in response to the world we are in.
Living Newspaper will work with a newly created collective of emerging young designers, to create a radical imagining of the space with a manifesto of new ways of making theatre.
Royal Court will continue its exploration of the climate crisis by ensuring all live performances are carbon net zero.
It will also begin Living Archive, a radical exploration of plays from the Royal Court’s history as part of the theatre’s anti-racism and de-colonising work, asking what has been chosen to archive and who will hold the narrative going forward.
More details will be announced in the coming weeks and tickets will go on sale in late October. Read more here.