Stoppard makes his Royal Court debut to mark its 50th birthday

Pinter, who was last on stage four years ago, will perform Samuel Beckett's powerful one-man play Krapp's Last Tape while Daldry, the Billy Elliot director who used to run the Royal Court, wants to direct a play, possibly the yet unfinished work by Hare.

Stoppard is writing his first work for the venue, a play called Rock 'n' Roll which will span the history of his native Czechoslovakia. "I want to be part of the Royal Court's history before I pack it in," he said. "Some of my best nights of the past 40 years have been spent in the Royal Court's auditorium, I don't want to fall under a bus before having a play on its stage." Trevor Nunn, the former National Theatre head, will make his Royal Court debut to direct the play.

The Hollywood star Alicia Witt will appear in a play written for her by Terry Johnson, the author of Hitchcock Blonde and Insignificance, while Christopher Hampton, famed for his adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, will provide a new translation of Chekhov's The Seagull.

Ian Rickson, the Royal Court's artistic director, said the anniversary, which will celebrated from January to December next year, presented a dilemma because reminiscing went against what the theatre was about.

It was founded as the home of the English Stage Company by George Devine and Tony Richardson in 1956 and its third play, John Osborne's Look Back in Anger, defined a generation, dubbed the Angry Young Men.

Under the leadership of artistic directors including Lindsay Anderson and Max Stafford-Clark, the Royal Court encouraged writers such as Howard Brenton, Joe Orton, David Edgar, Sam Shephard, Arnold Wesker and Caryl Churchill. More recently it has nurtured talents such as Mark Ravenhill, Joe Penhall and Sarah Kane. Always willing to challenge accepted mores, its early history was littered with battles with the Lord Chamberlain, the nation's censor, who refused performance licences to plays such as Edward Bond's Saved and Osborne's A Patriot for Me. But his victories were pyrrhic as his office was abolished in 1968.

With such a history, Rickson said the best way to celebrate was with work from new writers such as Simon Farquhar and Stella Feehily, talent from the last decade such as Tanika Gupta, Patrick Marber and Simon Stephens and the established heavyweights - "a mix of discovery, consolidation and maturity".

There will be a tribute to The Rocky Horror Show by Richard O'Brien which was recently voted the public's favourite Royal Court play. A separate evening will celebrate the anniversary of the premiere of Look Back in Anger.

Daldry said: "The Royal Court has been at the centre of British cultural life for the past 50 years ... I think the fact that it's managed to maintain its position over 50 years is an extraordinary achievement."

Christopher Hampton, whose first work was presented by the theatre when he was 20, said: "The Royal Court sort of invented me. When Ian asked me to do The Seagull, which is one of my favourite plays of all time, I couldn't resist."

Arts and Entertainment
Jude Law in Black Sea


In Black Seahe is as audiences have never seen him before

Arts and Entertainment
Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops


Arts and Entertainment
Full circle: Wu-Tang’s Method Man Getty

Music review

Arts and Entertainment
When he was king: Muhammad Ali training in 'I Am Ali'
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
Arts and Entertainment
Scare tactics: Michael Palin and Jodie Comer in ‘Remember Me’

TVReview: Remember Me, BBC1
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Image has been released by the BBC
Arts and Entertainment
Will there ever be a Friends reunion?
Harry Hill plays the Professor in the show and hopes it will help boost interest in science among young people
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
A Van Gogh sold at Sotheby’s earlier this month
Arts and Entertainment

MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word

Arts and Entertainment
It would 'mean a great deal' to Angelina Jolie if she won the best director Oscar for Unbroken

Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says

Arts and Entertainment
Winnie the Pooh has been branded 'inappropriate' in Poland
Arts and Entertainment
Lee Evans is quitting comedy to spend more time with his wife and daughter

Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is dominating album and singles charts worldwide

Arts and Entertainment
Kieron Richardson plays gay character Ste Hay in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks

Arts and Entertainment
Midge Ure and Sir Bob Geldof outside the Notting Hill recording studios for Band Aid 30

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game