Royal Court

Playing on the edge

What did we do?

The Royal Court is the undisputed epicentre of new writing in the UK and through its ground breaking work in energetically cultivating writers and inspiring audiences with provocative plays, it is widely regarded as one of the most important theatres in Europe. We came on board following Vicky Featherstone’s appointment as their new Artistic Director in 2013, a hugely exciting new chapter in the theatre’s history. With new ambitions for the theatre and a vision to create a provocative but inclusive organisation, Vicky and her team immediately started thinking how to reach out to more people in more places.

What did we do?

We were asked to start by looking at the environment and offer of the Royal Court and by thinking how to make the bar area work harder and become more welcoming and vibrant. This soon triggered a wider discussion about the what, why and how of the Royal Court. We worked with the team to develop a brand strategy that would not only help inform the future redesign of the bar area, but all their forthcoming plans and activities, from the look and feel of their public spaces to their digital strategy. Through research, interviews and workshops with the team we developed the new brand strategy centred around the idea of a theatre ‘playing on the edge’.

What's the impact?

The new brand strategy led to the development of a new visual identity by design agency Lovers who did a brilliant and imaginative job of bringing the brand strategy to life. Rather than creating a contained logo with a fixed position and traditional exclusion zone, they created an open set of conditions governing radical and flexible application of the logotype across communications, reasserting the Royal Court’s position as at the edge of theatre. We were also able to find the right partners to help the theatre fulfil their ambitions for the bar and restaurant by recommending they work with hospitality consultant and JWA Associate Duncan Ackery.

“I worked with JWA before at the National Theatre Scotland and it’s always a thrilling and direct process. I want to create theatre where the audience is on the edge of their seat and JWA really encapsulated this as an idea for us.”

Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director, Royal Court