Each microplay will respond to key areas of Guardian coverage, says the publisher. 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 - was released yesterday. Britain Isn’t Eating explores food banks and our obsession with cookery shows, it stars Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, The Honourable Woman) and Evening Standard Award-winner Kyle Soller (who last performed at the Royal Court in The Faith Machine and is soon to star in the forthcoming BBC series 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 (Birdland at the Royal Court, A Doll’s House, Young Vic/ West End and Medea, National Theatre). The film can be viewed on theguardian.com and audiences can join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #microplays.
Subsequent microplays cover music, fashion, politics, sport and education. The casts feature some of today’s most exciting actors including Rafe Spall (who last performed at the Royal Court in Constellations), Tobias Menzies (Game of Thrones) and Ruby Ashbourne Serkis (who stars in the BBC’s forthcoming Cider With Rosie). The 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.
The Guardian journalists taking part include Aditya Chakrabortty, Hadley Freeman, Barney Ronay, Michael Rosen and John Harris, whose article on England’s identity crisis was an early inspiration for the project
Chris Wiegand, Stage editor of Guardian News & Media, said: “Over the past few years there has been a huge transformation in Guardian journalism – we are responding to stories in more ways and in more depth than ever before. Our project with the Royal Court allows us to interpret current affairs in a new, informed and really creative fashion. The microplays 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 between the Guardian and Royal Court 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 journalistic instinct to speak truth to power and uncover the previously uncovered feeds directly into the Royal Court’s drive to say what has been unsaid and bring us to a deeper understanding of the world we live in. The form of our microplays, where theatre meets film in an inescapably theatrical setting, feels like a new adventure.”
The other five collaborations are as follows:
* Music - playwright Robin French, Guardian journalist John Harris and director Bijan Sheibani
* Sport - playwright Roy Williams, Guardian journalist Barney Ronay and director Clint Dyer
* Fashion - playwright Chloe Moss, Guardian journalist Hadley Freeman and director Christopher Haydon
* Politics - playwright Tim Price, Guardian journalist Aditya Chakrabortty and director Hamish Pirie
* Education – playwright Rachel De-lahay, Guardian education editor Richard Adams, education correspondent Sally Weale, writer and Guardian contributor Michael Rosen and director Gbolahan Obisesan
Guardian Live and the Royal Court present the Big Idea: Off The Page – a celebratory screening of all six films, with introductions from the artists and journalists involved, at the Royal Court on Friday 5 December at 6pm, tickets are £10. Further details and ticketing information is available at membership.theguardian.com/events.