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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas carried Lady Edith over the flames in her bedroom in Downton Abbey series five

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, seated next to a picture of his missing wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

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

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits