Thursday, Oct. 02, 2008

8. The Royal Court Theatre

The roll call of playwrights championed by the Royal Court is long and distinguished — John Osborne, Edward Bond, Joe Orton, Caryl Churchill, David Hare, Sam Shepard — not least by their propensity for tackling controversial themes and subjects. Dedicated to new and innovative work, audiences at this two-theater venue in Sloane Square first saw transvestite Dr. Frank-N-Furter strut his stuff at the 1973 premier of The Rocky Horror Show, and winced in 1995 at the late playwright Sarah Kane's scandalous debut, Blasted, which was decried by critics for its graphic brutality — only to be hailed at its 2001 revival by some of those same critics as a profound and disturbing work. More recently, the theater has debuted Mike Bartlett's satire, Love, Love Love, which follows the journey of the Baby Boomer generation from the tumultuous 1960s to the harsh realities of the present, and Bola Agbajie's Belong, profiling a Nigerian politician in London struggling to define his identity.