the royal court

the royal court theatre
Sloane Square. As a native Burnt Oaker, I feel out of place down here. Oh it’s just a place, like any other, and I’ve been around the world, but part of me thinks ‘Sloane Square’ and thinks ‘the 80s’, fil-o-faxes, champagne, upper classes, butlers, top hats, I don’t know, the rich. My part of North London was the opposite, so this was ‘how the other side lives’. Which is all a bit nonsense in the scheme of things, but it does explain why I don’t go down there very often. Also I live in California and have no reason to make special trips to go to Sloane Square in West London and look at exclusive boutiques or whatever they have down there. However, what they do have is the Royal Court Theatre, and I’ve been there a good few times, and I love it. This is one of the most important theatres in London, it is not one of your big commercial Andrew Lloyd Webber nonsense theatres that you get all over the West End; no, this venue fosters proper writing and has birthed many importnat modern playwrights such as Mark Ravenhill and the late Sarah Kane. They also house the Young Writers Program to develop young theatrical talent. This is a place for new and exciting work. I once saw a play there – I cannot recall the name now – with three actors on a bare sloping stage which utilized rudimentary puppetry and long, long mid-sentence pauses, and I absolutely loved it. It’s a great building also, modern and renovated inside but with a classic Sloane Square exterior. My friend Tamara spent a good few years working there too, so I’ll always think of her when I think of the Royal Court. I stood here for the best part of an hour sketching away, having to stop each time a huge bus hulked into view (I stood by a bus stop so this was often), drawing in the newly opened watercolour Moleskine. I had thought about sketching around Kings Road and all the little Chelsea boutiques, with all the butlers and yuppies and stockbrokers and Dukes with their massive mobile phones and their fil-o-faxes and barbour jackets, but I didn’t want to stand out too much as an oik from the estate, and headed off to Westminster to draw a panorama of Parliament Square.

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6 thoughts on “the royal court

  1. papict says:

    Wonderful drawing. I too love London theatres. It was the major thing I missed when we moved from the London ‘burbs to rural Argyll. How apt that you live in Burnt Oak since it means you can describe yourself in a way that creates a pun on “burnt ochre”. Works well for an artist.

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