The artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre today launched a season of plays that are set to challenge our views on sex and sexuality.

“I want to put different social worlds on stage,” said Dominic Cooke, who has overseen a number of successful productions since starting his present role 18 months ago.

“Our main aim is to put emerging writers on our stage and look for other ways to create new plays.”

In an attempt to attract a wider audience, the Royal Court this week staged a play in a shop in Elephant and Castle shopping centre.

“We want to take work into communities – Sloane Square is off a lot of people’s radar,” said Mr Cooke.

The exciting autumn season will open with a new American play, which takes place on the night of a fictional Presidential election.

Christopher Shinn’s eagerly anticipated new work looks at the relationship between a Democratic Presidential candidate and his gay son, who is caught up in scandal when controversial photographs of him are discovered.

Mr Cooke talked of the quantity of good quality writing coming from the States:

“Maybe it’s eight years of Bush that has brought this on, but there is a wealth of good work coming from across the Atlantic.”

Over the Christmas period the Royal Court, which is renowned for pushing the boundaries of modern theatre, will stage two plays that explore homosexuality.

Wig Out!, which will be directed by Dominic Cooke himself, follows two competing drag houses in America.

“Lilly Savage this is not,” Mr Cooke told PinkNews.co.uk.

“These men are sharp and tough; the play looks at the idea of masculinity in black America today.”

Meanwhile, in the studio theatre upstairs, Jamie Lloyd will direct The Pride, a play about a gay love triangle, by Alexi Kaye Campbell.

Examining changing attitudes to sexuality over a 50 year period, The Pride studies the relationship between covert and overt sexuality.

After taking a number of risks last year Dominic Cooke has managed to increase ticket sales at the Royal Court to a staggering 91% occupancy.

With the West End is regularly accused of relying on reality TV to sell tickets to fluffy musicals, the Royal Court continues to put on on new, cutting edge plays and make a real success of it.

To celebrate the 70th birthday of Caryl Churchhill there will be a season of readings of her work, directed by playwrights.

The autumn season will also see new plays from Alecky Blythe, Leo Butler and Mark Ravenhill.

For more information about The Royal Court autumn season visit www.royalcourttheatre.com