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Royal Court Theatre to Clean up its Act in 2020 Net Zero Bid

Green statement: Terry Johnson, Christopher Hampton, Sir Tom Stoppard, Stella Feehily, Tanika Gupta, at the Royal Court Theatre at its 50th anniversary programme announcement | PRESS HANDOUT

Royal Court Theatre has announced plans to make 2020 a carbon net zero year for all facets of its productions and operations its Sloane Square venue. The previously announced Open Court: Climate Emergency scheduled for March 2020 will kickstart the transition towards net zero. From energy to food, cleaning to materials, air quality to working hours, transport to waste, the theatre vows to push every part of its practice into a circular economy that reduces, offsets and neutralises its climate impact.

However, Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone admitted, “we will make mistakes”, but pledged, “we will share all of our learnings – successes and failures”. Theatregoers and visitors to the building from March onwards will be expected to contribute to the campaign. 

The operational changes will begin in the Site, which in recent years has become a third performance space for experimental work, during Open Court: Climate Emergency in March. These will filter to the main building as it transitions to a net zero arts venue through 2020 and onwards. The initiative will be led by Executive Producer Lucy Davies, and the Royal Court will share its experiences to inspire and influence others. 

Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone said: “While thinking about how to approach Open Court: Climate Emergency, which is scheduled for March, we realised that so many of our writers and artists are already writing through the lens of the climate emergency and it is represented in many ways in our programme.
Lucy and I had given ourselves the challenge of turning the Site into a net zero space for March and then asked the obvious question – why aren’t we doing it across the whole building and what are we waiting for? Let’s just get on with it. 

“We will make mistakes, we will move fast and change as the technology and information changes. We will use the time in March to take stock, to hear from people we do not normally hear from in the cultural discussion and to work out new structures and ways of functioning to enable this to happen. We will share all of our learnings – successes and failures. Basically everyone coming into our building from March onwards, in any context, will be contributing to this vital commitment to our climate emergency.” 

More information about the public events during Open Court: Climate Emergency (2-30 March 2020) will be released in early 2020. 

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