Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre has come a long way since its “Royal ourt” days, the C dropped off the sign out front and never reattached. I’ve often wondered what happened to that lonely C – one of life’s little mysteries, I suppose. The quality of Royal Court productions has rarely been an issue but the once grand building has badly needed refurbishment for a while.
Now, thanks to European Regional Development Fund grant and a loan from the council plus a £1 levy on every ticket sold for Royal Court performances, the place is elbowing its way forward to stand alongside other cultural buildings in Liverpool city centre.
I went to the unveiling of the Royal Court’s new foyer last week, if you’ve been inside or walked past you can’t have failed to notice the beautiful new box office.
Behind that is an extended foyer, a lift to all floors of the building and a sizeable terrace upstairs on the first floor.
Late last December on the bus on the way home from a night out, I got talking to a lovely couple. Proudly in their eighties, they were fizzing with delight after a night watching the Royal Court’s Christmas production Pharaoh ‘Cross The Mersey. A young woman sitting across the aisle had just been to see it too and I’d caught it the week before so basically half the bus ended up having a good gab about what a great production it was, and raving over the bossness of the Royal Court’s plays in recent years.
And that’s it, you see. Why the Royal Court works so well is because everybody goes there, and loves it. It’s not known as “the people theatre” for nothing and I for one am made up it looks so beautiful again.
My flash fiction short story You Promised, first published in Landmarks, National Flash Fiction Day Anthology 2015 is featured on Femmuary this week. You can read it here.