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Bush Theatre – Films of Hijabi Monologues London released

Bush Theatre - Hijabi Monologues
Bush Theatre - Hijabi Monologues

Bush Theatre – Hijabi Monologues

Bush Theatre has captured as short films all nine of the monologues performed as part of the UK premiere production of the international project Hijabi Monologues

  • Released online today are videos of the first four monologues
  • Hijabi Monologues, an international project founded in the USA, is about creating a theatre space for the experiences of Muslim women
  • Each production across the world is a unique combination of local and international stories. The London programme includes three new monologues by British female writers -including a first-time writer from Shepherd’s Bush – alongside monologues written by Hijabi Monologues founder and head-writer Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah
  • Hijabi Monologues London was first performed at the Bush Theatre from 28 – 30 September 2017 as part of Hijabi Monologues Europe managed in partnership with the British Council.

The Bush Theatre has today released videos of four stories from their production of Hijabi Monologues London which played to capacity audiences in September. A further five videos will be released on 12 October. These will all be free to view on the Bush Theatre’s YouTube channel.

This, the first live to digital production undertaken by the theatre, is part of an international project focussing on the real-life experiences of both local and international Muslim women. In a similar style to Black Lives, Black Words at the Bush Theatre earlier this year, Hijabi Monologues London features interweaving stories from our doorstep as well as experiences of Muslim women in other parts of the world and was performed at the Bush Theatre from 28-30 September.

Directed by Milli Bhatia, the performance features monologues penned for this international project by head writer and founder Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah as well as new works from members of the Bush Theatre’s immediate community totalling nine UK premieres. Of the three new works, two are by emerging writers and one by first-time local writer, Amal Abdi.

The cast of six women of colour includes four actresses discovered through an open audition call out. Hijabi Monologues London is the stage debut for Hibo Muse, who is a member of National Youth Theatre. Nadi Kemp-Sayfi (The Archers), Michal Keyamo (The Welcoming Party, Theatrerites) and Aryana Ramkhalawon (Waterloo Road) were also cast from the open call. Ayesha Darker, best known as Nina Karnik in Holby City and for Tamil film The Terrorist, and Zainab Hasan (Shakespeare Trilogy, Donmar Warehouse and St. Ann’s Warehouse NYC) complete the cast.

First time performer Hibo Muuse said, ‘As a young black British hijabi I’ve always struggled with the concept of identity. Walking into an acting workshop being greeted by people who don’t look like me or relate to me can be intimidating and the feeling of telling other people’s stories can make you feel isolated and foreign. This project is not only an exciting chance for our voices to be heard as Muslim women, but it is also an opportunity for us to take control of these stories and tell them ourselves – openly and honestly.’

Madani Younis, Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre said, ‘This year we have deliberately brought international movements into our local community with the hugely successful Black Lives, Black Words back in March and the Hijabi Monologues London. With London still reverberating from events that have made us question what community is, it is imperative that artists and audiences come together to stand up for and celebrate the diversity of our city.’

Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah is a founder, Creative Director and Head Writer of the Hijabi Monologues, which has toured the United States and internationally for a decade. A South Floridian Bangladeshi based in New York City, Ullah has been invited to speak about her work at the United Nations, U.S. Embassies and universities around the world.

Milli Bhatia trained on the MFA in Theatre Directing at Birkbeck and was previously Resident Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. She is a Creative Associate at The Gate Theatre. Previous credits at the Bush Theatre include My White Best FriendThis Bitter Earth (both Black Lives, Black Words), Left Hangin’ and Here Comes the Bride.

HIJABI MONOLOGUES FIRST SET VIDEOS

THE STORIES

The first set of videos includes:

The People You Meet by Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah is a collection of stories about the types of strangers Muslim women meet in public. Performed by Aryana Ramkhalawon.

 New Ways of Looking by Nimmo Ismail is about the experience of watching and being watched on the tube. Nimmo has worked with both Talawa Theatre Company a member of TYPT:16 and The Royal Court Writers Group. She is currently the Trainee Assistant Director on Wings (supported by the Boris Karloff Foundation) at The Young Vic. Nimmo is a Youth Ambassador at Southbank Centre, a member of Barbican Young Programmers and a Future Film Programmer at the BFI. Performed by Zainab Hasan.

Hitting on a Hijabi 101 by Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah is a unique collection of comedic vignettes about the types of strategies a variety of men deploy for picking up a hijabi. Performed by Nadi Kemp-Sayfi.

My Son’s Wedding Feast by Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah is the story of a woman who struggles to remember the moments after hearing some news about the sudden death of her eldest son. Performed by Ayesha Dharker.

The second set of monologues, to be released on 12 October will include:

With Her Back Straight by Hanan Issa which tells the story of an inspirational mother who taught strength in the face of challenges and adversity. Hanan wrote the piece to honour her own mother’s story but to also recognise the struggle of all mothers. Hanan is a writer and poet from Cardiff. She has written for MuslimGirl.com and Huffington Post and her poetry has appeared on various online publications, on both major Muslim TV networks, and BBC Radio Wales. Performed by Nadi Kemp-Sayfi.

Hoops is about a woman’s first experience at a football game. The original story, Hurricane, by Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah, has been adapted by Bush Theatre’s Ellie Horne to fit the UK context. Performed by Michal Keyamo.

I’m Tired by Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah expresses one woman’s frustration with the burden of representation. Performed by Zainab Hasan.

Hijabi Spiderman by Amal Abdi, the story about a young Muslim girl’s superhero identity in London. Amal lives in Shepherd’s Bush and is studying History at university. Hijabi Spiderman is her first professional theatrical work. Performed by Michal Keyamo.

The Story about the Really Quiet Subdued Shy Not Sociable Hijabi by Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah is a story about a young woman who becomes the talk of her peers after a surprising incident. Performed by Hibo Muuse.

————————————————————————————————————————————–

Hijabi Monologues, an international project founded in the USA, is about creating a theatre space for the experiences of Muslim women; a space to breathe as they are; a space that does not claim to tell every story or speak for every voice. Each production across the world is a unique combination of local and international stories.

Hijabi Monologues London is a licensed production of Hijabi Monologues USAIt is part of the Hijabi Monologues Europe programme which is managed in partnership with the British Council. Hijabi Monologues London is supported by Amal – A Said Foundation Project and Safera Foundation.

Star cast announced for Fringe First-winning ‘Nassim Plays’ at the Bush Theatre

Nassim
Nassim

Nassim

In a celebration of his work, the Bush Theatre brings together four of Iranian theatre-maker Nassim Soleimanpour’s plays this September: NASSIMcommissioned by the Bush Theatre, directed by Omar Elerian and a Fringe First winner at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe; international hit White Rabbit Red RabbitBLANK (Bush Theatre’s RADAR 2015 and Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016), and new play Cook, co-created by Soleimanpour and the Danish director Jesper Pedersen. All four plays will play in repertory over two weeks.

Soleimanpour’s work requires no rehearsals, no preparation, just a sealed envelope and a different actor each night reading a script for the first time.  For each performance, a different cultural figure will take the stage. Performers for the London run include Tim CrouchHari DhillonKate FleetwoodDeborah Frances-WhiteMel GiedroycDenise GoughPaterson JosephJosie LawrenceAndi OshoVinay Patel,ScotteeMeera SyalMark Thomas and Dominic West.

Artistic Director Madani Younis said ‘We’re thrilled to bring together all four of Nassim’s plays in a retrospective, supported by an array of exciting performers working across theatre, film and television. The act of programming a retrospective of a relatively young, living artist is deliberate: for me it’s a statement on the influence and importance of Nassim Soleimanpour’s work. His theatrical experiments are also powerful antidotes to the recent political events that continue to shake us.’

Nassim Soleimanpour’s play White Rabbit Red Rabbit was produced as part of the Bush Theatre’s annual new writing festival, RADAR, in 2014. It went on to receive global acclaim, being translated into 15 different languages and performed over 1000 times by some of the biggest names in theatre and film including Sinead Cusack, Ken Loach and Whoopi Goldberg.

 BLANK was performed at the RADAR festival in 2015 and NASSIM – directed by Omar Elerian with design by Rhys Jarman – was first performed at the Bush Theatre in July 2017 prior to receiving further critical acclaim and a Fringe First award when it appeared at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh this August. Performers in Edinburgh included Nina Conti, Monica Dolan, Inua Ellams, Richard Gadd and Josie Long.Cook, Soleimanpour’s latest work, involves cooking a recipe on stage in a story of how food brings ingredients and people together.

Nassim Soleimanpour’s work is NOT overtly political, and should not be portrayed as such. It operates on a deeper, metaphoric level, and very expressly avoids overt political comment. All media and press agents have to keep in mind that the playwright’s home is Iran, as are his friends and family. We therefore ask the press to be judicious in their reportage.

LISTINGS

7 – 16 September, Bush Theatre

NASSIM PLAYS

Four Plays, One Writer, No Preparation.

  • Nassim, a Bush Theatre commission
  • White Rabbit Red RabbitBLANK, and Cook, presented by the Bush Theatre in association with Aurora Nova
  • Cook is co-created by Nassim Soleimanpour and Danish writer Jesper Pedersenhttps://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/

    festival/nassim-plays/

TICKET PRICES
Standard tickets: from £20

Count Me In: £10

Count Me In tickets are available for performances in the Theatre. These are unreserved tickets which will be allocated by Box Office on the day of performance. You might not be sitting next to people you booked with but you will be guaranteed a seat.

Phone: 020 8743 5050
In person: 
Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ
Online: 
www.bushtheatre.co.uk

 BIOGRAPHIES

Nassim Soleimanpour (playwright and performer) is an independent multidisciplinary theatre maker best known for his multi award-winning play White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Nassim’s play BLANK premiered in the UK at the Bush Theatre’s RADAR festival in 2015, also playing in Amsterdam and Utrecht with further performances all over the world including in Argentina, Australia and India. Further plays include Blind Hamlet which premiered at LIFT Festival 2014 prior to a UK tour and productions in Bucharest and Copenhagen. Nassim now lives in Berlin and has been commissioned to write a new play for Teater Momentum (Denmark).

 Omar Elerian (director) is Associate Director at the Bush Theatre where he directed One Cold Dark Nightby Nancy Harris and Islands by Caroline Horton. He also co-directed the Olivier nominated You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy at the Bush Theatre alongside Daniel Goldman. He was also Associate Director onThe Royale by Marco Ramirez, Perseverance Drive by Robin Soans and Chalet Lines by Lee Mattinson. Other directing credits include acclaimed site-specific production The Mill – City of Dreams (Bradford, Yorkshire), Testa di Rame (Festival Inequilibrio, Italy) and Les P’tites Grandes Choses (Maison de Arts du Cirque et du Clown, France).

 Rhys Jarman (Designer) previously designed the set for MONEY: The Game Show at the Bush Theatre. He was one of the winners of the 2007 Linbury Biennial Prize, for his design of Varjak Paw for the Opera Group.  Further stage design credits include James and the Giant Peach and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz(Northern Stage)The Time of Your Life (Gecko/ Battersea Arts Centre/ BBC), The Dreamer (Gecko/ Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre)The Machine Stops (Pilot Theatre/ York Theatre Royal), Hurling Rubble at the Sun, Hurling Rubble at the Moon (Red Ladder Theatre Company/ Park Theatre), Institute and Missing(both Gecko/ World Tours), The Nutcracker (Nuffield Theatre), Holes (Edinburgh Festival Fringe/ Arcola Theatre) and Three Way (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Forthcoming work includes Alice in Wonderland(Northern Stage), How I Hacked My Way to Space (Unlimited Theatre) and The Wedding (Gecko). He also designs work for outdoor events, opera and television.

Rehearsals begins for ‘Ramona Tells Jim’ at the Bush Theatre

Ramona Tells Jim - first day of rehearsals. Photo credit Rebekah Ellerby
Ramona Tells Jim - first day of rehearsals. Photo credit Rebekah Ellerby

Ramona Tells Jim – first day of rehearsals. Photo credit Rebekah Ellerby

Rehearsals begin today at the Bush Theatre for Ramona Tells Jim, the world premiere of a darkly comic play about confession and the gravity of young love by Sophie Wu graduate of the Bush Theatre’s Emerging Writers’ Group.  Ramona Tells Jim opens on 20 September (press night 22 September) and runs until 21 October 2017.

It’s 1998.  Ramona, of Englandshire, is 15 and she’s totally cool. Honestly.  She’s completely cool.  On a wet, midge-riddles geography field-trip she meets Jim, a local laddie wearing an anti-pill fleece.  He’s obsessed with hermit crabs, rock erosion and making homemade Irn-Bru cocktails.

Deep in the Scottish Highlands, Ramona falls for Jimmy’s awkward charm and gets caught in a scandal that will haunt them for years to come.

Fast forward fifteen years and Jim, of the shittiest village in Scotland, has got a girlfriend and something like a functional life, but Ramona still can’t shake the consequences of that fateful trip.  Determined to clear her conscience, she heads back to the Highlands to find that neither her nor Jim’s lives have turned out how they planned.

 Actress and writer Sophie Wu’s debut play, Sophie Wu Is Minging, She Looks Like She’s Dead, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and transferred to Soho Theatre to critical acclaim.  She is currently developing original TV projects with Charlie Brooker’s company, House of Tomorrow, Roughcut and Kudos and has a script commission for Minging Lizzie for Channel 4.

Director Mel Hillyard won the JP Morgan Award for directing in 2015 and spent 6 months at the National Theatre Studio as Resident Director.  Her directing credits include Scarlett (Hampstead Theatre), The Brink (Orange Tree Theatre), The Late Henry Moss (Southwark Playhouse), Love and Information (The Caird Theatre), Hamlet (The Secret Nuclear Bunker – East 15), Hard Shoulders (Latitude Festival), Even Stillness Breathes Softly Against A Brick Wall (Theatre503), In An Instant (Latitude Festival and Theatre503), His Face Her Face and Three Is Company (King’s Head) and Loose Ends (Edinburgh Festival). 

Lucy Sierra’s recent design credits include Ode to Leeds (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Macbeth (Dorfman, National Theatre and schools tour), Young Vic 5 (Young Vic), Cathy (Cardboard Citizens), The Grand Journey (Bombay Sapphire Immersive Experience), A Kid, This Tuesday (Arcola), The Tempest (Royal & Derngate), Giving (Hampstead Theatre, Downstairs), Another World-Losing Our Children to Islamic State (Shed, National Theatre), Calculating Kindness (Camden People’s Theatre), Snow White & Rose Red (Rash Dash and Cambridge Arts Theatre), Abyss (Arcola), Benefit, We Are All Misfits (Cardboard Citizens), We Have Fallen (Underbelly), If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep (Royal Court), Sign of the Times (Theatre Royal, Bury), The Bear (Improbable), Sweeny ToddDavid CopperfieldWhite Nights (Octagon, Bolton), Symmetry (Southwark Playhouse), Songs Inside (Gate) and Fewer Emergencies (Oxford Playhouse).

 Ruby Bentall plays Ramona. Her theatre credits include Britten in Brooklyn (Wiltons Music Hall), The Cement Garden (Heritage Arts Company), Peter and Alice (Noel Coward Theatre), Hansel and GretelGriefThe MiracleDNAShoot/Get Treasure/Repeat(all National Theatre), Blue Heart Afternoon (Hampstead Theatre), Remembrance Day (Royal Court Theatre) and Alice (Sheffield Crucible). Television credits include Midsomer MurdersAbsentiaPoldark series 1, 2 and 3, Jekyll and Hyde (ITV), Blandings II ‘Throwing Eggs’The Paradise (BBC), Larkrise to Candleford (BBC), The BillNew TricksLost in AustenOliver Twist (BBC),Doctors (BBC), You Can Choose Your Friends and Holby City. Film credits include Interlude in PragueBikini BlueMr Turner,Robin HoodThe Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler and Tormented.

Joe Bannister plays Jim. His theatre credits include Wild Honey (Hampstead Theatre), As You Like It (National Theatre),Hobson’s Choice (Vaudeville Theatre), King John (Rose Theatre Kingston), Mad World My Masters (ETT Tour/Barbican), The Witch of EdmontonThe Roaring GirlArden of Faversham (RSC Roaring Girls Season), Titus AndronicusA Mad World My Masters (RSC), Chariots of Fire (Gielgud Theatre/Hampstead Theatre), Bloody Poetry (Jermyn Street Theatre) and The Lion in Winter (Theatre Royal Haymarket). His television credits include Howard’s End (BBC) and Endeavour (Mammoth for ITV). His film credits include The Isle.

 Amy Lennox plays Pocahontas. Her theatre credits include Elly in David Bowie’s Lazarus (King’s Cross), Lauren in Kinky Boots(Adelphi Theatre), Cathy in The Last Five Years (Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Steph in Tracks (The Miniaturists, Arcola), Woman inThe Pink Bedroom (The Hotel Plays, Defibrillator), Princess Pertunia in Puss in Boots (Hackney Empire), Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5 The Musical (UK tour), Velcro in Soho Cinders (Soho), Decade (Headlong), Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden (Birmingham Rep), Margot and u/s Elle Woods in Legally Blonde (original London company), Jenny in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie(Assembly Rooms Edinburgh/Royal & Derngate), Wendy in Peter Pan (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Liesl in The Sound of Music(London Palladium) and Sweeney Todd (Royal Festival Hall). Television credits include Sally McColl in Shetland Series 4 (ITV) and Casualty (BBC). Film credits include: Cruz in Wrong Turn 5 (20th Century Fox); Sophie in Cab Ride (Abelle Films Ltd) and Jen in Never Let Me Go (DNA Films).

Madani Younis, Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre said; ‘We first encountered an early version of Sophie’s fantastic play back in 2015, when she took part in our very first Emerging Writers’ Group. We invited a group of guests to listen to a sharing of Ramona Tells Jim and the reaction was electric: we knew we had to programme that play. Fast forward two years and we now have our brand new, intimate Studio and what better play to kick off our autumn season than this. Sophie’s work is smart, funny and rude – I can’t wait for Mel and her team to bring it to life.’

 Ramona Tells Jim is supported by Peter Wolff Theatre Trust.

 

Bush Theatre announces casting for Autumn productions

Ruby Bentall

Casting is announced today for two new plays as part of the Bush Theatre’s Autumn Winter season by Sophie Wu (Ramona Tells Jim) and Chris Thompson (Of Kith and Kin).

Ruby Bentall

Ruby Bentall


Ramona Tells Jim
Written by Sophie Wu
Directed by Mel Hillyard
Designed by Lucy Sierra

Cast includes: Ruby Bentall (Ramona), Joe Bannister (Jim) and Amy Lennox (Pocahontas).

Bush Theatre Studio
20 September – 21 October 2017
Press Night 22 September 2017

Joe Bannister Credit Faye Thomas

Joe Bannister Credit Faye Thomas


It’s 1998. Ramona, of Englandshire, is 15 and she’s totally cool. Honestly. She’s completely cool.

On a wet, midge-riddles geography field trip she meets Jim, a local laddie wearing an anti-pill fleece. He’s obsessed with hermit crabs, rock erosion and making homemade Irn-Bru cocktails.

Deep in the Scottish Highlands, Ramona falls for Jimmy’s awkward charm but gets caught in a scandal that will haunt them both for years to come.

Fast forward fifteen years and Jim, of the shittest village in Scotland, has got a girlfriend and something like a functional life. But Ramona still can’t shake the consequences of that fateful trip. Determined to clear her conscience, she heads back to the Highlands to find that neither her nor Jim’s lives have turned out how they had planned.

Ramona Tells Jim is a darkly comic play about confession and the gravity of young love, from Bush Theatre Emerging Writers’ Group graduate and actor Sophie Wu (Kick AssWild Child), directed by Mel Hillyard and designed by Lucy Sierra.

Supported by Peter Wolff Theatre Trust.

A Bush Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production
Of Kith and Kin
Written by Chris Thompson
Directed by Robert Hastie
Designed by James Perkins

Cast includes: Joanna Bacon (Lydia and Carrie), Donna Berlin (Arabelle), James Lance (Daniel), Chetna Pandya (Priya) and Joshua Silver (Oliver).

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Sheffield Theatres
14 September – 7 October
Press Night 19 September, 7.45pm

Bush Theatre
18 October – 25 November 2017
Press Night 20 October, 7pm 
Daniel and Oliver are about to have their first baby. With their best friend, Priya, acting as surrogate, they’ve turned the study into a nursery and the bottles are sterilised. All that’s missing is the bundle of joy they’ve been pining for.

But when Daniel’s chaotic mother gatecrashes the baby shower with a few home truths, the cracks in Daniel and Oliver’s relationship begin to show. Are they as ready for this as they think they are? And more importantly, is Priya?

Sheffield Theatres Artistic Director Robert Hastie (Julius CaesarMy Night With Reg) directs this gripping new comedy by Chris Thompson (Albion).  The pair previously collaborated on Carthage at the Finborough Theatre.  Of Kith and Kin will be designed by James Perkins, with lighting by Prema Mehta, sound by Ella Wahlström and casting by Vicky Richardson.

Of Kith and Kin opens at Sheffield Studio Theatre on 15 September with a press night on 19 September.

Madani Younis announces the Autumn Winter season of plays at the Bush Theatre After The Venue’s Successful Reopening In March This Year

BUSH THEATRE’S AUTUMN WINTER SEASON INCLUDES:

  • A retrospective of work by internationally acclaimed Iranian theatre-maker Nassim Soleimanpour, featuring three previous works and a brand new play commissioned by the Bush Theatre.
  • A season of international stories, featuring over 10 new works, from Muslim women both at home and abroad entitled Hijabi Monologues.
  • Previously announced new plays by Sophie Wu (Ramona Tells Jim) and Chris Thompson (Of Kith and Kin).
  • A new play by Thomas Eccleshare entitled Heather in a production with Dancing Brick, Paul Jellis and Tobacco Factory Theatres.
  • The Bruntwood Prize judges award winning Parliament Square by James Fritz in a co-production with Royal Exchange Theatre.

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Artistic Director Madani Younis introduces the new season of work for Autumn Winter 2017 :

  • ‘As ever at the Bush Theatre, we continue to seek powerful plays that respond to the urgency of the world around us. London is still reverberating from events that have made us question what community is and what our city means to us. As such, this building continues to speak up for the unheard and celebrate their voices. This year we have brought international movements into our local community with the powerful Black Lives, Black Words back in March and the upcoming Hijabi Monologues. The latter will feature over 10 new works gathered from Muslim women both locally in Shepherd’s Bush and further afield from different parts of the world.’ 

Ramona Tells Jim

Written by Sophie Wu

Directed by Mel Hillyard

Designed by Lucy Sierra

Bush Theatre Studio

20 September – 21 October 2017

Press Night 22 September 2017

It’s 1998. Ramona, of Englandshire, is 15 and she’s totally cool. Honestly. She’s completely cool.

On a wet, midge-riddled geography field trip she meets Jim, a local laddie wearing an anti-pill fleece. He’s obsessed with hermit crabs, rock erosion and making homemade Irn-Bru cocktails.

Deep in the Scottish Highlands, Ramona falls for Jimmy’s awkward charm but gets caught in a scandal that will haunt them both for years to come.

Fast forward fifteen years and Jim, of the shittest village in Scotland, has got a girlfriend and something like a functional life. But Ramona still can’t shake the consequences of that fateful trip. Determined to clear her conscience, she heads back to the Highlands to find that neither her nor Jim’s lives have turned out how they had planned.

Ramona Tells Jim is a darkly comic play about confession and the gravity of young love, from Bush Theatre Emerging Writers’ Group graduate and actor Sophie Wu (Kick AssWild Child), directed by Mel Hillyard and designed by Lucy Sierra.

Supported by Peter Wolff Theatre Trust.

 

Nassim Plays

Written by Nassim Soleimanpour

Bush Theatre

7 – 16 September 2017

In a celebration of his work, the Bush Theatre brings together all four of Iranian theatre-maker Nassim Soleimanpour’s plays.

These will include the self-titled Nassim, commissioned by the Bush Theatre, directed by Omar Elerian and designed by Rhys Jarman; international hit White Rabbit Red Rabbit, presented by Aurora Nova; Blank (Bush Theatre’s RADAR 2015 and Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016), presented by Aurora Nova; and the UK premiere of new play Cook, co-created by Nassim Soleimanpour and the Danish director Jesper Pedersen. All four plays will play in repertory over a week.

This retrospective will follow a run of Nassim at the Traverse Theatre as part of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Soleimanpour’s work is unique in that it requires no rehearsals, no preparation. Just a sealed envelope and a different actor each night reading a script for the first time.

 

A licensed production of Hijabi Monologues USA

Hijabi Monologues

Directed by Milli Bhatia

Bush Theatre

28 – 30 September 2017

Hijabi Monologues London is part of an international project focusing on the real-life experiences of both local and international Muslim women.  In a similar style to Black Lives, Black Words at the Bush Theatre earlier this year, Hijabi Monologues features interweaving stories from our doorstep as well as experiences of Muslim women in other parts of the world.

Directed by Milli Bhatia, the evening will include existing monologues penned for this international project by women including the original writer Sahar Ullah and new works from members of the Bush Theatre’s immediate community totalling over 10 UK premieres. Experience the diverse stories of Muslim women from all over the world – unfiltered and uncensored.

Supported by Amal – A Said Foundation Project, British Council and Safera Foundation.

 

Dancing Brick and Paul Jellis in association with Tobacco Factory Theatres and the Bush Theatre

Heather

Written by Thomas Eccleshare

Directed by Valentina Ceschi

Designed by Lily Arnold

Bush Theatre Studio

31 October – 18 November 2017

Press Night 2 November 2017

A reclusive children’s writer becomes wildly successful. Her books are treasured across the country. But when a troubling narrative starts to unfold, we find ourselves asking: what matters more, the storyteller or the story?

Brilliantly imaginative and theatrically original, Heather is a short, sharp story about language, prejudice and the power of stories.  The cast will include Ashley Gerlach and Charlotte Melia.

Thomas Eccleshare is the Verity Bargate Award-winning writer of Pastoral and the co-artistic director of Arches Brick Award winning company Dancing Brick.  Heather will be directed by Valentina Ceschi and designed by Lily Arnold.

 

A co-production with Sheffield Theatres

Of Kith and Kin

Written by Chris Thompson

Directed by Robert Hastie

Designed by James Perkins

Bush Theatre

18 October – 25 November 2017

Press Night 20 October, 7pm
Daniel and Oliver are about to have their first baby. With their best friend, Priya, acting as surrogate, they’ve turned the study into a nursery and the bottles are sterilised. All that’s missing is the bundle of joy they’ve been pining for.

But when Daniel’s chaotic mother gatecrashes the baby shower with a few home truths, the cracks in Daniel and Oliver’s relationship begin to show. Are they as ready for this as they think they are? And more importantly, is Priya?

Sheffield Theatres Artistic Director Robert Hastie (My Night With Reg, Splendour) directs this gripping new comedy by Chris Thompson (Albion).  The pair previously collaborated on Carthage at the Finborough Theatre.  Of Kith and Kin will be designed by James Perkins, with lighting by Prema Mehta, sound by Ella Wahlström and casting by Vicky Richardson.

Of Kith and Kin opens at Sheffield Studio Theatre on 15 September with a press night on 19 September.

 

A co-production with Royal Exchange Theatre

Parliament Square

Written by James Fritz

Directed by Jude Christian

Designed by Fly Davies

Bush Theatre

30 November 2017 – 6 January 2018

Press Night 1 December 2017

How far would you go for what you believe in?

Kat gets up one morning, leaves her family behind and travels to London to carry out an act that will change her life and, she hopes, everyone else’s. For those it touches, their lives will never be the same. But what, in the end, are the real consequences of her actions?

Raw, disturbing and compassionate, James Fritz‘s searingly powerful play forces a confrontation with some of the most urgent questions we face. What can one individual do to effect change? And where do we choose to draw the line between absolute commitment and dangerous obsession?

Parliament Square won the Judges’ Award in the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and will be directed byJude Christian whose credits include Lela and Co and Bodies both at the Royal Court.

 

EMERGING WRITERS’ GROUP

In June 2017, the Bush Theatre’s Emerging Writers’ Group (EWG) will enter its third year with a new intake of six writers. Sophie Wu, a graduate of the first EWG, will premiere her play at the Bush Theatre this September.  Five out of the twelve EWG graduates have received commissions or ongoing support from the Bush.  The new intake of writers for 2016 is: Robyn Addison, Afsaneh Gray, Kelly Jones, Isley Lynn, Eno Mfon andTom Wentworth.

 

UP NEXT

The Bush Theatre also announces today the artists taking part in UP NEXT, a new development programme to champion the next generation of visionary BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) leaders and artists, in partnership with Artistic Directors of the Future and Battersea Arts Centre. Tobi Kyeremateng, Sita Thomas, Ruthie Osterman (all Bush Theatre), Lekan Lawal, Tarek Iskander and Saad Eddine Said (Battersea Arts Centre) will be handed the keys to both the Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre in early 2019. Arts Council England’s Sustained Theatre Fund supports the initiative.

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London cast and Edinburgh transfer announced for Nassim at the Bush Theatre Studio

Nassim at the Bush Theatre 25 - 29 July 2017
Nassim at the Bush Theatre 25 - 29 July 2017

Nassim at the Bush Theatre 25 – 29 July 2017

The Bush Theatre has announced that their production of Nassim written by Nassim Soleimanpour (While Rabbit Red Rabbit) and directed by Bush Theatre Associate Director Omar Elerian (One Cold Dark Night, Islands) will transfer to the Traverse Theatre for a full run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer. Nassim’s new play Nassim will preview at the Bush Theatre Studio from 25 – 29 July before opening at the Traverse on 3 August, with a press night on 4 August.

Casting is also announced today for the London run of Nassim. For each performance across the run, a different cultural figure will join Nassim on stage to perform his new work. Performers will include: British-Egyptian actor and activist Khalid Abdalla (The Kite Runner, United 93), actor Vivienne Acheampong (City of Glass, Rainbow Class), playwright and screenwriter Alexi Kaye Campbell (Apologia, Woman in Gold), director Phelim McDermott (Akhnaten, A Christmas Carol), writer and performer Sabrina Mahfouz (With a Little Bit of Luck, Breaking the Code) and actor Hattie Morahan (Anatomy of a Suicide, A Doll’s House). Casting for the Edinburgh run to be announced.

Nassim Soleimanpour’s audacious theatrical experiment explores the power of language to unite us in unknown, uncertain times. Nassim is the Iranian playwright’s second play to receive its UK Premiere at the Bush Theatre. The first, BLANK, was produced as part of the Bush Theatre’s annual new writing festival, RADAR, in 2015. This will be the Bush Theatre’s first production to transfer to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since Simon Stephens’ Sea Wall in 2009.

Dear performer. I want to show you something. Did you know, in Farsi my name is written like this:  ‘.ROUPNAMIELOS MISSAN si eman yM’

No rehearsals. No preparation. Just a sealed envelope and an actor reading a script for the first time.

Nassim follows Soleimanpour’s globally acclaimed White Rabbit Red Rabbit, which has been translated into 15 different languages and performed over 1000 times by some of the biggest names in theatre and film including Sinead Cusack, Ken Loach and Whoopi Goldberg. It had already been performed hundreds of times in more than a dozen languages by 2013 when Soleimanpour was first permitted to travel outside his native Tehran.

Nassim a Bush Theatre commission – is written by Nassim Soleimanpour, directed by Omar Elerian and designed by Rhys Jarman. Lighting design is by Rajiv Pattani with sound design by James Swadlo.

Khalid Abdalla (performer) is a British-Egyptian actor and activist. Notable film credits include The Kite Runner and United 93. Further film work includes Assassin’s Creed, Our Kind of Traitor, In the Last Days of the City, Tigers and Green Zone. He is a founding member of the Mosireen Collective of Egyptian filmmakers, focusing on documenting the events leading up to and following the 2011 revolution in Cairo. He himself has starred in and produced several documentaries, including The Square, which won the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award.

Vivienne Acheampong (performer) recently completed her run in City of Glass at the Lyric Hammersmith. She returns to the Bush Theatre following her one woman show Rainbow Class (RADAR 2015) which she later took to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Further stage credits include Monster Raving Loony (Soho Theatre), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (West End), Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (First Light Theatre/ West End) and Julius Caesar (St. Ann’s Warehouse).

Alexi Kaye Campbell (performer) was born and brought up in Athens, Greece, then trained as an actor in London and New York. He appeared in several television series before turning to writing. He returns to the Bush Theatre following his play Apologia, a revival of which is currently running in the West End. Other writing credits for the stage include Sunset at the Villa Thalia (National Theatre), Bracken Moor (Shared Experience/ Tricycle Theatre) and The Faith Machine and The Pride (both Royal Court). He recently wrote his first film, Woman in Gold, which was directed by Simon Curtis and featured Dame Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds.

Phelim McDermott (performer) is most widely-known as an award-winning theatre and opera director. He is a founding member of theatre company Improbable and collaborates regularly with ENO and Metropolitan Opera, New York. Notable directing credits include Akhnaten (ENO) which won the Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production, A Christmas Carol (West End), The Enchanted Island (Met Opera), The Addams Family (Broadway), Philip Glass’s Satyagraha and Così fan tutte (Improbable/ ENO/ Met Opera) and Shockheaded Peter (West Yorkshire Playhouse/ Lyric Hammersmith/ West End/ Little Schubert Theatre, Off Broadway/ World Tour) which won the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment. Further productions with Improbable include Lost Without Words and Theatre of Blood (National Theatre), Beauty and the Beast (Young Vic), The Hanging ManCinderella (Lyric Hammersmith), Lifegame and the multi-award-winning 70 Hill Lane. He has a longstanding interest in using improvisation in rehearsals and performance, and is a regular improvising guest with the Comedy Store Players.

Sabrina Mahfouz (performer) was raised in London and Cairo. She is a playwright, performer, poet and screenwriter. She returns to the Bush Theatre following productions of her plays Battleface and Dry Ice. Further writing for the stage includes With a Little Bit of Luck (Paines Plough), SLUG (Nabokov), The Love I Feel is Red (Tobacco Factory Theatre), Chef (Underbelly at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe/ Soho Theatre) and Clean (Traverse Theatre). She is also known for her poetry collection How You Might Know Me and the literary anthology The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write. She created the television series Breaking the Code and further work with the BBC includes, Railway Nation: A Journey In Verse and We Are Here.

Hattie Morahan (performer) won the Best Actress Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Theatre Awards for her portrayal of Nora in A Doll’s House (Young Vic).  She returns to the Bush Theatre following her performance of Nassim’s BLANK (RADAR 2015). Further stage credits include Anatomy of a Suicide and The City (Royal Court), The Changeling (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), The Dark Earth and the Light Sky (Almeida Theatre), Plenty (Sheffield Crucible), The Real Thing (Old Vic), The Seagull, Three More Sleepless Nights, Time and the Conways, Some Trace of Her, Iphigenia at Aulis and Power (all National Theatre) and Family Reunion (Donmar Warehouse). On television she is best known for her roles in My Mother and Other Strangers, The Outcast, Ballot Monkeys, Arthur & George, Outnumbered, Eternal Law, Money, The Bletchley Circle, Marple, Sense and Sensibility and Bodies. She appeared as the Enchantress in the recent Disney film Beauty and the Beast. Other film credits include Alice Through The Looking Glass, Mr Holmes, Summer in February and The Golden Compass.

Nassim Soleimanpour (playwright and performer) is an independent multidisciplinary theatre maker best known for his multi award-winning play White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Nassim’s play BLANK premiered in the UK at the Bush Theatre’s RADAR festival in 2015, also playing in Amsterdam and Utrecht with further performances all over the world including in Argentina, Australia and India. Further plays include Blind Hamlet which premiered at LIFT Festival 2014 prior to a UK tour and productions in Bucharest and Copenhagen. Nassim now lives in Berlin and has been commissioned to write a new play for Teater Momentum (Denmark).

Omar Elerian (director) is Associate Director at the Bush Theatre where he directed One Cold Dark Night by Nancy Harris and Islands by Caroline Horton. He also co-directed the Olivier nominated You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy at the Bush Theatre alongside Daniel Goldman. He was also Associate Director on The Royale by Marco Ramirez, Perseverance Drive by Robin Soans and Chalet Lines by Lee Mattinson. Other directing credits include acclaimed site-specific production The Mill – City of Dreams (Bradford, Yorkshire), Testa di Rame (Festival Inequilibrio, Italy) and Les P’tites Grandes Choses (Maison de Arts du Cirque et du Clown, France).

Rhys Jarman (Designer) previously designed the set for MONEY: The Game Show at the Bush Theatre. He was one of the winners of the 2007 Linbury Biennial Prize, for his design of Varjak Paw for the Opera Group.  Further stage design credits include James and the Giant Peach and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Northern Stage), The Time of Your Life (Gecko/ Battersea Arts Centre/ BBC), The Dreamer (Gecko/ Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre), The Machine Stops (Pilot Theatre/ York Theatre Royal), Hurling Rubble at the Sun, Hurling Rubble at the Moon (Red Ladder Theatre Company/ Park Theatre), Institute and Missing (both Gecko/ World Tours), The Nutcracker (Nuffield Theatre), Holes (Edinburgh Festival Fringe/ Arcola Theatre) and Three Way (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Forthcoming work includes Alice in Wonderland (Northern Stage), How I Hacked My Way to Space (Unlimited Theatre) and The Wedding (Gecko). He also designs work for outdoor events, opera and television.

Bush Theatre Studio
25 – 29 July
Traverse 2, Traverse Theatre
3 – 27 August

Press Night 4 August, 4pm

LISTINGS

25 – 29 July, Bush Theatre Studio
3 – 27 August, Traverse 2, Traverse Theatre
NASSIM
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Nassim Soleimanpour
Directed by Omar Elerian
Designed by Rhys Jarman
Press night: 4 August, 4pm, Traverse 2, Traverse Theatre
TICKET PRICES

Count Me In: £10 (Theatre)

Adult: From £20 (Theatre) and £10 (Studio)

Count Me In tickets are just £10 and are available for performances in the Theatre. These are unreserved tickets which will be allocated to a seat on the day of performance. Audience members might not be sitting next to the people they booked with but will be guaranteed a seat.

Concessions: Bush Locals, Senior Citizens, Disabled and Unemployed patrons, and Bush Connect (Students and U26) members will be eligible for concession prices.

Booking
Phone: 020 8743 5050
In person:   Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, W12 8LJ
Online: bushtheatre.co.uk

Traverse Theatre
Adult:
£19.50 (£13/ £9 previews)
Concessions: £14.50/ £9.50

Booking
Phone: 0131 228 1404
In person: 10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh EH1 2ED
Online: www.traverse.co.uk

ALSO AT THE BUSH THEATRE IN 2017

15 Jun – 22 Jul
HIR
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Taylor Mac
Directed by Nadia Fall
Designed by Ben Stones
Lighting Designed by Eliott Griggs
Sound Designed by Elena Peña
Press night: 20 June, 7pm
Captioned: 7 Jul, 7.30pm
Audio described: 15 Jul, 2.30pm
26 – 28 July at 7.45pm, Bush Theatre Attic
3-27 August (not 14 August) at 6pm, Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)
THE B*EASTS
A Monica Dolan and Something for the Weekend production
Written and performed by Monica Dolan
Directed by John Hoggarth
Designed by James Button
Produced by Suzanna Rosenthal for Something for the Weekend
Press are welcome to attend from 4 August, Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)

20 Sep – 21 Oct
RAMONA TELLS JIM
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Sophie Wu
Directed by Mel Hillyard
Press night: 22 Sep, 7pm
Captioned: 13 Oct, 7.45pm
Audio described: 7 Oct, 2.45pm

18 Oct – 25 Nov
OF KITH AND KIN
A Bush Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production
Written by Chris Thompson
Directed by Robert Hastie
Designed by James Perkins
Press night: 20 Oct, 7pm
Captioned: 3 Nov, 7.30pm
Audio described: 11 Nov, 2.30pm

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Bush Theatre announces previews for Monica Dolan’s debut solo play before opening in Edinburgh this summer

The Beasts by Monica Dolan

The Beasts by Monica Dolan. Click on the image to book your tickets.

The Bush Theatre has announced that this summer it will be hosting a run of The B*easts, written and performed by Monica Dolan (W1A, Appropriate Adult, The Witness For The Prosecution). Three previews of the production will take place in Theatre’s recently refurbished Attic on 26 – 28 July, before opening at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Referencing the modern obsession with putting your own child first against our responsibility as a society towards our children as a whole, this dark tale – written by and starring BAFTA award-winning actress Monica Dolan – explores how far one mum will go to put what her child wants first.

Dolan’s first solo play, a searing ‘What If?’ story, explores the pornification of our culture and the sexualisation of our children. In a society where sexuality and gender are such a huge part of who we are, how we identify, and how we are defined, The B*easts looks at how soon is too soon to strive for perceived sexual ideals. Can the journey to reach that supposed perfection start before we are even consciously aware of the journey we have begun?

The B*easts follows the repercussions of an event which could plausibly present itself and unfold within today’s culture. It invites us to examine our culture from an extreme perspective, taking a circumstance that we see as abhorrent and abnormal and showing how it can germinate in what we have come to regard as normality. As Tessa, the central character says, ‘you only have the choices you can see’. So when, and how, do you start noticing that your moral compass may be being directed by popular culture?

Click here to buy your tickets for The B*easts at the Bush Theatre

“Dolan is about the best actor on TV at the moment” (The Guardian)
“A fantastic actress” (The Daily Telegraph)
“[A] superb performance” (Independent)

Monica Dolan (writer and performer) is a Middlesbrough-born actress who has recently appeared on television as Angela in Mid Morning Matters With Alan Partridge, straight-talking Senior Comms Officer Tracey Pritchard inW1A, Alice More in Wolf Hall, Tess Wall in JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, MI5 director Judith in Complicit and Janet McIntyre in The Witness For The Prosecution. Her film credits include MP Angela Northman in Eye In The Sky, Marion in Pride, chain-smoking headmistress Miss Alvaro in The Falling, Angela Ashbourne in Alpha Papa(The Alan Partridge Movie) and Ann Hamilton in The Arbor. Onstage she has appeared as Lisa in The Glory of Living, Megan in Plaques and Tangles, The Artist in Birth of a Nation (all Royal Court), in The Same Deep Water as Me (Donmar Warehouse), and as Lady Macbeth in Max Stafford-Clark’s ground-breaking production of Macbethwith Out of Joint. Monica has worked at the National Theatre and extensively at the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she took on the roles of Regan and Masha in Trevor Nunn’s productions of King Lear and The Seagull. Monica’s most notable role was as killer Rosemary West in ITV’s 2011 drama Appropriate Adult, for which she won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress.

LISTINGS

26 – 28 July at 7.45pm, Bush Theatre Attic
3-27 August (not 14 August) at 6pm, Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)
THE B*EASTS
A Monica Dolan and Something for the Weekend production
Written and performed by Monica Dolan
Directed by John Hoggarth
Designed by James Button
Produced by Suzanna Rosenthal for Something for the Weekend
Press are welcome to attend from 4 August, Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)

FURTHER PREVIEWS
Etcetera Theatre, London
24th July, 8:30pm
25th July, 6:30pm
29th July, 6:30pm

TICKET PRICES

Bush Theatre
From £10 (Attic)

Concessions: Bush Locals, Senior Citizens, Disabled and Unemployed patrons, and Bush Connect (Students and U26) members will be eligible for concession prices.

Booking
Phone  020 8743 5050
In person   Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, W12 8LJ
Online  bushtheatre.co.uk

Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)
Previews: £6.50
Weekday: £10 (Concessions: £9)
Weekend: £11 (Concessions: £10)

Booking
Online www.underbellyedinburgh.co.uk
Phone 03333 444 167

Location
Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly), 66 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1JX

Recommended Age

14+

Running time
60 minutes

Twitter
@Monica Dolan, @SFTWshows, #TheBeasts, @followthecow, @bushtheatre

ALSO AT THE BUSH THEATRE IN 2017

1-4 June
SHEPHERD’S BUSH COMEDY FESTIVAL
Presented by London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and PBJ Management

15 Jun – 22 Jul
HIR
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Taylor Mac
Directed by Nadia Fall
Designed by Ben Stones
Lighting Designed by Eliott Griggs
Sound Designed by Elena Peña
Press night: 20 June, 7pm
Captioned: 7 Jul, 7.30pm
Audio described: 15 Jul, 2.30pm

20 Sep – 21 Oct
RAMONA TELLS JIM
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Sophie Wu
Directed by Mel Hillyard
Press night: 22 Sep, 7pm
Captioned: 13 Oct, 7.45pm
Audio described: 7 Oct, 2.45pm

18 Oct – 25 Nov
OF KITH AND KIN
A Bush Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production
Written by Chris Thompson
Directed by Robert Hastie
Designed by James Perkins
Press night: 20 Oct, 7pm
Captioned: 3 Nov, 7.30pm
Audio described: 11 Nov, 2.30pm

Bush Theatre announces casting for Hir starring Arthur Darvill

Hir
Hir

Hir

Casting is announced today for the UK premiere of Hir, written by Taylor Mac (24-Decade History of Popular Music) and directed by Nadia Fall (Disgraced). Arthur Darvill (Doctor Who, Broadchurch, Once) will play Isaac, Griffyn Gilligan (Teddy Ferrara) plays younger sibling Max, Ashley McGuire (Shopping and F***ing, The Suicide) will play their mom Paige and Andy Williams (The 39 Steps, War Horse) plays her husband Arnold.

After winning acclaim in New York, this play from one of America’s most dynamic and distinctive voices comes to London in a new production. Pulitzer Prize finalist Taylor Mac is a multi-award-winning writer and performance artist at the forefront of alternative responses to American culture. Author of seventeen full-length plays, Mac won rave reviews for the extraordinary 24 hour durational concert, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, which reframed and re-enacted 240 years of US history (an extract was performed at LIFT Festival 2016).  In Hir, Mac tears apart the kitchen sink genre by challenging gender expectations and subverting all notions of the typical American family.

“Stop behaving like a man!” 
“We are men

Isaac gets home from serving in the marines to find war has broken out back home. Fed up with her broken American Dream, mom Paige has stopped washing, cleaning and caring for their ailing father. Once the breadwinner, dad Arnold has suffered a stroke and toppled from the head of the household to a mere puppet in the new regime. Ally to their mother is Isaac’s sibling Max. Only last time Isaac checked, Max was Maxine.

In Central Valley, in a cheap house made of plywood and glue, notions of masculinity and femininity become weapons with which to defeat the old order. But in Taylor Mac’s sly, subversive comedy, annihilating the past doesn’t always free you from it.

Hir is written by Taylor Mac, directed by Nadia Fall and designed by Ben Stones. Lighting design is by Eliott Griggs with sound design by Elena Peña. Fight direction is by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brownof RC-Annie Ltd.

Arthur Darvill (Isaac) is best known for his roles in the television series Doctor Who and Broadchurch.  On stage his credits include Treasure Island (National Theatre), Once (West End/ Broadway), Our Boys andSwimming With Sharks (West End), Soft Cops (Royal Shakespeare Company), Doctor Faustus (Shakespeare’s Globe), Terre Haute (Edinburgh Festival Fringe/ West End/ National Tour) and Stacy (Arcola Theatre).  Other television includes Legends of Tomorrow, Danny and The Human Zoo, The White Queen, The Paradise, Little Dorritt, He Kills Coppers and The Verdict. His film credits include Robin Hood, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll andPelican Blood. He composed the music for Artefacts and several further productions at the Bush Theatre as an associate artist, along with productions elsewhere including Fantastic Mr Fox (Nuffield Theatre /Lyric Hammersmith/ Leicester Curve), I Want My Hat Back (National Theatre), Lightning Child and The Frontline(Shakespeare’s Globe), Stoopud Fucken Animals (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Crazy Love (Paines Plough) and Is Everyone Ok? (Nabokov). His musical Been So Long (Young Vic Theatre/ English Touring Theatre), written with Che Walker, has been adapted for the screen and is currently in production.

Griffyn Gilligan (Max) performed in Teddy Ferrara at the Donmar Warehouse.  He is a founding member of the ensemble Ponyboy Curtis (The Yard/ New Diorama, Camden People’s Theatre).  Griffyn has worked on various workshops and developments, including BULLISH (Milk Presents/ Lyric Hammersmith/ Camden People’s Theatre), Antigonna (Young Vic), Weaklings (Chris Goode & Company/ Warwick Arts Centre) and an upcoming project with The Royal Exchange/ Chris Goode & Company.

Ashley McGuire (Paige) has previously worked with director Nadia Fall on several productions including The SuicideOur Country’s Good and Home (National Theatre). Further National Theatre credits include Light Shining in Buckinghamshire and An Oak Tree. Elsewhere, stage work includes the role of Falstaff in Henry IV (Donmar Warehouse), Shopping and F***ing (Lyric Hammersmith), Re-Charged – Fatal Light (Clean Break/ Soho Theatre) and Housekeeping (Theatre Uncut). For television, she has appeared in This Country, Decline and Fall, In the Club, The IT Crowd Special: The Internet is Coming, The Job Lot, Derek, Miranda and has played recurring roles in Man Down (Series 1-3), Dead Boss and Coronation Street. Film credits include David Brent: Life on the Road and Bridget Jones’ Baby.

Andy Williams’ (Arnold) work in the West End includes The 39 Steps and War Horse. More recently he appeared in Kneehigh’s Rebecca (Theatre Royal, Plymouth & Tour) and previously performed in the company’s production of Nights at the Circus. Further theatre credits include Grand Guignol (Theatre Royal, Plymouth/Southwark Playhouse), A Christmas Carol (Royal Theatre, Northampton), Ben Hur (Watermill Theatre), Judgement Day (Almeida Theatre), Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter and The Play What I Wrote(David Pugh Productions), Russian Roulette (The Featherstonhaughs & the Cholmondeleys), A Matter of Life and Death, Peer Gynt and Romeo and Juliet (National Theatre), The Hobbit (Vanessa Ford Productions), More Grimm Tales (Young Vic/ New Victory Theatre, New York/ Sydney Festival), As I Lay Dying, Twelfth Night andThe Jungle Book (Young Vic), A Comedy of Errors (RSC/ UK Tour/ International Tour) and Bouncers (Hull Truck). On television he has appeared in Agatha Raisin: The Walkers of Dembley, Waking the Dead, Wire in the Blood, The Ghost Squad and Grown Ups.

Taylor Mac (playwright) – who uses “judy” (lowercase, sic) not as a name but as a gender pronoun – is an actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer. Judy’s work has been performed at New York City’s Lincoln Center, The Public Theatre and Playwrights Horizons, Los Angeles’s Royce Hall, Minneapolis’s Guthrie Theater, Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, the Sydney Opera House, Boston’s American Repertory Theatre, Stockholm’s Sodra Theatern, the Spoleto Festival, San Francisco’s Curran Theater and MOMA, amongst others.  Judy is the author of seventeen full-length plays and performance pieces including A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, Hir (placed on the top ten theatre of 2015 lists of The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Time Out NY), The Lily’s Revenge, The Walk Across America for Mother Earth, The Young Ladies Of, Red Tide Blooming, The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac, and in collaboration with Mandy Patinkin, Susan Stroman and Paul Ford The Last Two People On Earth:  An Apocalyptic Vaudeville.  Mac is a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and the recipient of multiple awards including the Kennedy Prize, a NY Drama Critics Circle Award, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim, the Herb Alpert in Theater, the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, an Obie, and the Ethyl Eichelberger Award.

Nadia Fall (director) returns to the Bush Theatre following Disgraced. She has directed numerous productions at the National Theatre including The Suicide, Our Country’s Good, Dara, Chewing Gum Dreams, Home, Hymnand The Doctor’s Dilemma. Further directing credits include R&D (Hampstead Theatre), Way Upstream(Chichester Festival Theatre), Hobson’s Choice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), How Was it for You?(Unicorn Theatre) and The Maids (Lyric Hammersmith). She has led participation initiatives with partners such as the Young Vic, Clean Break, Soho Theatre and the Royal Court. She is also an acting coach, supporting professional actors for film and stage.

Ben Stones (designer) has designed extensively for theatre and dance and returns to the Bush Theatre following The Kitchen Sink. Previous work with Nadia Fall includes The Suicide (National Theatre), Way Upstream (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Hobson’s Choice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). Other credits include Into The Hoods: Remixed, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Some like it Hip Hop (ZooNation), Kiss Of The Spider Woman (Donmar Warehouse), The Silence of the Sea (Donmar Trafalgar), An Enemy of the People(Sheffield Crucible) and The Lady In The Van (National Tour). In 2011 he won the MEN award for Best Design for Doctor Faustus at the Royal Exchange, Manchester.

LISTINGS

15 Jun – 22 Jul
HIR
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Taylor Mac
Directed by Nadia Fall
Designed by Ben Stones
Lighting Designed by Eliott Griggs
Sound Designed by Elena Peña

Press night: 20 June, 7pm
Captioned: 7 Jul, 7.30pm
Audio described: 15 Jul, 2.30pm
TICKET PRICES
Count Me In: £10 (Theatre)

Adult: From £20 (Theatre) and £10 (Studio)

Count Me In tickets are just £10 and are available for performances in the Theatre. These are unreserved tickets which will be allocated to a seat on the day of performance. Audience members might not be sitting next to the people they booked with but will be guaranteed a seat.

Concessions: Bush Locals, Senior Citizens, Disabled and Unemployed patrons, and Bush Connect (Students and U26) members will be eligible for concession prices.

Booking
Phone  020 8743 5050
In person   Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, W12 8LJ
Online  bushtheatre.co.uk

 

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Last chance to see Guards at the Taj at the Bush Theatre directed by Jamie Lloyd

Danny Ashok and Darren Kuppan in Guards at the Taj Bush Theatre
Danny Ashok and Darren Kuppan in Guards at the Taj Bush Theatre

Danny Ashok and Darren Kuppan in Guards at the Taj Bush Theatre Credit Marc Brenner

Guards at the Taj by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph, directed by Jamie Lloyd enters its final two weeks at the Bush TheatreThe last performance will be held on Saturday 20 May.  Danny Ashok plays the role of Humayun and Darren Kuppan plays Babur.

This darkly comic play opened the newly revitalised Bush Theatre, following its major £4.3m capital project. Guards at the Taj takes an enduring legend about the Taj Mahal and prompts audiences to explore questions about art, privilege and duty.

“If we hadn’t done our jobs tonight, we’d be hanging by our necks in the royal courtyard getting our eyes pecked out by the royal crows. So excuse me if I don’t wallow in some misbegotten guilt all night. Was it fucked up? Yes, it was. But I don’t have to feel terrible about it.”

It’s 1648. Agra, India. Imperial guards Humayun and Babur keep watch as the final touches are put to the mighty Taj Mahal behind them. The emperor has decreed that no one, except the masons, labourers and slaves who exist within those walls, shall turn to look at the building until it is complete.

Guards at the Taj is written by Rajiv Joseph, directed by Jamie Lloyd and designed by Soutra Gilmour. Lighting design is by Richard Howell with sound design and composition by George Dennis. Fight direction is by Kate Waters.

Listings

Runs until 20 May
GUARDS AT THE TAJ
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Jamie Lloyd
Designed by Soutra Gilmour
Lighting Design by Richard Howell
Sound Design and Composition by George Dennis
Captioned: 27 Apr, 7.30pm
Audio described: 6 May, 2.30pm
Ticket prices
Count Me In: £10 (Theatre)

Adult: From £20 (Theatre) and £10 (Studio)

Count Me In tickets are just £10 and are available for performances in the Theatre. These are unreserved tickets which will be allocated to a seat on the day of performance. Audience members might not be sitting next to the people they booked with but will be guaranteed a seat.

Concessions: Bush Locals, Senior Citizens, Disabled and Unemployed patrons, and Bush Connect (Students and U26) members will be eligible for concession prices.

Booking

Phone  020 8743 5050

In person   Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, W12 8LJ

Online  bushtheatre.co.uk

COMING UP AT THE BUSH THEATRE IN 2017

Until 27 May
WHILE WE’RE HERE
A Bush Theatre, Up In Arms and Farnham Maltings co-production
Written by Barney Norris
Directed by Alice Hamilton
Designed by James Perkins
Press night: 28 Apr, 7pm
Captioned: 12 May, 7.45pm
Audio described: 13 May, 2.45pm

1 – 4 June
SHEPHERD’S BUSH COMEDY FESTIVAL
Presented by H&F and PBJ Management
Various Artists

15 Jun – 22 Jul
HIR
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Taylor Mac
Directed by Nadia Fall
Designed by Ben Stones
Press night: 20 June, 7pm
Captioned: 7 Jul, 7.30pm
Audio described: 15 Jul, 2.30pm

24 – 29 Jul
NASSIM
A Bush Theatre production
Written and performed by Nassim Soleimanpour
Directed by Omar Elerian
Press night: N/A

20 Sep – 21 Oct
RAMONA TELLS JIM
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Sophie Wu
Directed by Mel Hillyard
Press night: 22 Sep, 7pm
Captioned: 13 Oct, 7.45pm
Audio described: 7 Oct, 2.45pm

18 Oct – 25 Nov
OF KITH AND KIN
A Bush Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production
Written by Chris Thompson
Directed by Robert Hastie
Designed by James Perkins
Press night: 20 Oct, 7pm
Captioned: 3 Nov, 7.30pm
Audio described: 11 Nov, 2.30pm

 

 

 

First production images released for Guards at the Taj at the Bush Theatre directed by Jamie Lloyd