Royal Court Theatre premieres plays from Ukraine and Syria - Genesis Foundation

Royal Court Theatre premieres plays from Ukraine and Syria

28 November 2017

The Royal Court’s autumn 2017 season is focused on work produced by its International Playwrights Programme, which is supported by the Genesis Foundation. As part of this focus, two world premieres are being given: Bad Roads written by Ukrainian Natal’ya Vorozhbit and Goats written by Syrian Liwaa Yazji.

Bad Roads

Natal’ya Vorozhbit has worked with the Royal Court since 2004 and is the leading Ukrainian playwright of her generation. Winner of the Eureka Prize for Galka Motalko and a Golden Mask for Docudrama, her work also includes The Khomenko Family Chronicles, Maidan (Royal Court) and The Grain Store (RSC).

Bad Roads is directed by Royal Court Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone. Set in the darkest recesses of Ukraine, amidst a raging war, it follows three narrative threads of a journalist taking a research trip to the front line, teenage girls waiting for soldiers on benches and a medic who mourns her lover killed in action.

Read a ☆☆☆☆ review of Bad Roadsfrom The Times here.


Goats is a major new work by Syrian playwright and documentary filmmaker Liwaa Yazji developed as part of the Royal Court’s long term project with writers from Syria and Lebanon. Royal Court Associate Director Hamish Pirie directs a cast who work on stage with a small herd of live goats.

Set in a small government held town in Syria, Goats is about grieving families struggling to cope with the impact of civil war. The local mayor decides to compensate the families: a goat for each son martyred. As the town slowly fills with goats, the community tries to hold on to its sanity.

Discussing her play, Goats and its connection to current affairs in Syria, Liwaa Yazji said:

“In Syria, families who were giving martyrs to the regime or war were granted a goat in return for their sacrifice. So it was a literal thing that happened, but also for me very symbolic and very surreal and very real”.

See the full video with Liwaa Yazji:

Watch the Goats Trailer:

Goats runs in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from Friday 24 November to Saturday 30 December. For more information and to book tickets click here.


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