February 2020 marks 20 years since the reopening of the Royal Court Theatre's iconic Sloane Square building following an extensive redesign by Haworth Tompkins.
Jerwood Foundation's grant of £3 million saved and ensured the future of the English Stage Company and London's Royal Court Theatre. It remains one of the Foundation's largest and most important capital projects.
The refurbished Royal Court, with its two stages renamed Jerwood Theatre Downstairs and Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, reopened to great acclaim on 17 February 2000. The award-winning redesign reflects the theatre's radical tradition with its use of corten weathered steel, jarrah wood, polished concrete and dark leather.
The Jerwood Foundation played a crucial role in making all of this possible, stepping in when we were in a difficult position and generously filling a funding gap to ensure the work could be completed. It is this kind of support and belief in the work that we do that makes Jerwood such a valued partner for us here at the Royal Court, and the continued support of Jerwood Arts for the Jerwood New Playwrights scheme for more than 25 years has enabled us to push boundaries with more new writers in this iconic theatre.
Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director, Royal Court Theatre
The Jerwood New Playwrights programme which was introduced in 1994 by Stephen Daldry (Artistic Director, Royal Court 1992-1998) and celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2019 was initially supported by Jerwood Foundation. It has been funded by Jerwood Arts since 1999 and remains rooted in the Royal Court’s desire to create a more sustainable culture and stage for new writers.
The longevity and consistency of Jerwood’s support has enabled the exploration and development of new forms and voices through the staging of 87 challenging and robust plays by 72 playwrights in the crucial first 10 years of their careers – including some of the best known, important and respected playwrights in theatre today.