Theatres and the coronavirus outbreak

London theatres are permitted to open again to live audiences from Monday 17 May 2021.

Some smaller theatres have already made plans to reopen, though this does not apply yet to all venues.

Many of the big, popular shows in the West End have delayed reopening until later in the summer or Autumn.

We advise checking theatre websites for details about their particular reopening schedule and what you can expect when visiting.

Rare Earth Mettle

10 Nov to 18 Dec 2021

The Royal Court Theatre

Al Smith's epic new play is a brutally comic exploration of risk, delusion and power.
Rare Earth Mettle at The Royal Court Theatre

Image courtesy The Royal Court Theatre

Show details


“You don't tell an American to switch off her light; you build her a better light bulb.”

Three worlds collide on a Bolivian salt flat.

A leading doctor, who has travelled from the UK, believes she can save the NHS, solve the British mental health crisis, and advance her career.

A Silicon Valley billionaire, who has been watching the site from his satellites, believes he can save the world building affordable electric cars, and make millions of dollars in the process.

And the indigenous community, who have preserved the land for generations, believe both visitors have propositions that could transform their futures.

Each pursue their own ambitions, but which is the greatest good?

Al Smith returns to the Royal Court following Harrogate, for which he was nominated Most Promising Playwright (Evening Standard Theatre Awards).

He first worked with the theatre as a participant of a Royal Court Writers' Group where emerging writers are given space and support to develop.

Royal Court Associate Director Hamish Pirie directs.

Background information, advisory warnings

Age suitability: Not available

Social media & info

Website link for this show Wikipedia link for this show YouTube link for this show Facebook link for this show twitter link for this show



Postal address:
Sloane Square
London SW1W 8AS

Box office tel: 020 7565 5000

Box office email: Send Mail

Location map for The Royal Court Theatre


Previews from:Wednesday 10 November 2021

Press night:Tuesday 16 November 2021

Closes:Saturday 18 December 2021

Performance days & times


Monday ‑ 7‑30pm

Tuesday ‑ 7‑30pm

Wednesday ‑ 7‑30pm

Thursday ‑ 7‑30pm

Friday ‑ 7‑30pm

Saturday ‑ 7‑30pm


Thu &

Sat mats: 2.30pm (from 18 Nov)

Running time: To be confirmed


£12 - £45

Buy tickets

Access information

Captioned performance: Wed 1, 8 & 15 Dec

Audio Described performance: Sat 11 Dec at 2.30pm (Touch Tour 1.30pm)

Relaxed Environment performance: Sat 4 Dec at 4.30pm


Author: Al Smith
Director: Hamish Pirie


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