The worlds of theatre and journalism collide in Off the Page, a unique new collaboration at London’s Royal Court Theatre.
Guardian journalists are partnering with Royal Court playwrights, theatre directors and a stellar company of actors to create a series of six ‘micro-plays’, each around five minutes long, to be showcased on the paper’s website.
Each micro-play will respond to key areas of newspaper’s coverage. Royal Court theatre-makers have drawn upon the specialist expertise of the Guardian’s feature writers, columnists and editors for the plays.
The first film – on the subject of food – has just been released.
Britain Isn’t Eating explores food banks and our obsession with cookery shows.
The play stars Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, The Honourable Woman) and Evening Standard Award-winner Kyle Soller (who is soon to star in the BBC’s Poldark).
It is a collaboration between playwright Laura Wade (Posh), food blogger and regular Guardian contributor Jack Monroe, Guardian social affairs correspondent Amelia Gentleman and director Carrie Cracknell.
Subsequent micro-plays cover music, fashion, politics, sport and education.
The casts feature some of today’s most exciting actors including Rafe Spall, Tobias Menzies and Ruby Ashbourne Serkis.
Other creatives involved are playwrights Rachel De-lahay, Robin French, Chloe Moss, Tim Price and Roy Williams and directors Clint Dyer, Christopher Haydon, Gbolahan Obisesan, Hamish Pirie and Bijan Sheibani.
Chris Wiegand, Stage editor of Guardian News & Media, said: “Our project with the Royal Court allows us to interpret current affairs in a new, informed and really creative fashion.
“The micro-plays are a true extension of our journalism. We’ve brought together some fantastically talented people and set them quite a challenge – with the names involved, I know these six pieces will be witty, smart and hard-hitting.”
Vicky Featherstone, artistic director of the Royal Court, said: “This partnership feels truly ground-breaking and reflects the strengths and vision of each organisation.
“Playwrights and theatre-makers are continuously hungry for inspiration and challenge and that is frequently found in the pages of our great newspapers.
“The form of our micro-plays, where theatre meets film in an inescapably theatrical setting, feels like a new adventure”.