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Bush Theatre announces 2019 season – The New Face of Theatre

Madani Younis
Madani Younis

Madani Younis

  •  The Bush Theatre announces seven plays and a festival as part of its 2019 season – including six collaborations, two world premieres and a UK premiere
  • This season sees the second year of Passing the Baton, a three-year programming initiative dedicated to revivals of work by writers of colour which began with Winsome Pinnock’s Leave Taking and continues with Strange Fruit by Caryl Phillips alongside a mentoring scheme to nurture the next generation of writers of colour
  • The season continues the theatre’s commitment to producing the best new playwrights and speaking up for diversity and inclusivity in all its forms

The Bush Theatre today announce their 2019 season, the last programmed under the Artistic Directorship of Madani Younis who after seven years at the theatre will become Creative Director at the Southbank Centre in January 2019.

2018 has seen the Bush celebrate a West End transfer for Arinzé Kene’s Misty, which has now been seen by almost 30,000 people and been nominated for an Evening Standard award for ‘Best Musical Performance’, an Olivier award nomination for Monica Dolan’s The B*easts and the ongoing world-wide success of its touring production of NASSIM which opens in New York in December.  Other celebrated work including Winsome Pinnock’s Leave Taking, Vinay Patel’s An Adventure and Ben Weatherill’s ground-breaking Jellyfish, re-affirm the theatre’s commitment to discover, nurture and produce the best new playwrights from the widest range of backgrounds.  The 2018 programme has seen a 40% increase in attendance on the previous year and 52% of the audience being first-time visitors to its Shepherd’s Bush home.

With their 2019 season the Bush continues to challenge the unspoken rules of who writes theatre, how they write it, and who it is made for.  From the UK premiere ofGoing Through, which tells the story of a young girl’s journey across borders while seamlessly mixing English and British Sign Language to Caryl Phillip’s Strange Fruitcontinuing the ground-breaking Passing The Baton initiative;  from BABYLON: Beyond Borders, an international collaboration between four theatres that will be simultaneously live-streamed across four different cities, to And The Rest of Me Floats, a bold exploration of gender in collaboration with LGBTQ+ company Outbox..

It also continues its commitment to showcasing both home-grown and international talent. 4 out of 7 of the 2019 productions have been written or co-written by International writers, and 3 out of 7 have been written or co-written by writers from the UK.

Madani Younis said, ‘My time at the Bush Theatre is undoubtedly one of my proudest achievements to date. The Bush invested in a vision that celebrated not just the best of theatre but the best of our country’s inherent culture.  

With its global outlook, I feel this season shows the best of who we are and stands for the values that we have attempted to build over the past seven years.  It’s a season of creatives who have inspired me, continue to inspire me and I hope will inspire our audiences. ‘

The Bush also today announced UNWRAPPED, a holiday season of cabaret, comedy and theatre including Richard Gadd, Sh!t Theatre, Harriet Kemsley and Gingzilla which runs for a two-week season this December.

2019 season

Bush Theatre presents

BABYLON FESTIVAL

WORLD PREMIERE

4 – 16 Feb

Press Night for BABYLON: Beyond Borders: 13 Feb

A tower of languages. A city of immense cultural creativity. A people’s journey.

BABYLON is a two-week festival celebrating the global influences and experiences of Black and Brown people, presented by Bush Theatre’s Tobi Kyeremateng and Ruthie Osterman.

Week one invites cultural innovators to transform the Bush Theatre with a series of takeovers under three strands: LOUD – music gigs by artists such asTouching Bass, Sam Wise and Nabihah Iqbal, SPEAKS – live podcast shows and kitchen-table discussions from The Receipts Podcastgal-dem, and more, and RESIDENTS – main space takeovers from collectives such as Skin Deep and The Cocoa Butter Club.

BABYLON: Beyond Borders is a fusion of live music, spoken word and movement, performed across London, New York, Johannesburg and Sao Paolo in a celebration of cross-border solidarity and creativity. Four extraordinary theatres, each deeply rooted in their own community, collaborate and explore their relationship to land, language and migration.

Tobi Kyeremateng is a theatre, festival and live performance producer.  She is currently Producer at Apples and Snakes.   In 2013 she assisted in producing Ovalhouse Theatre’s site-specific piece The Street and joined BAC as Junior Producer until 2016.  She was part of the Old Vic 12 2016 cohort, where she produced Joe White’s play Pagans.  Tobi is the co-founder of the Black Ticket Project, an initiative that aims to make theatre accessible to black young people.

Ruthie Osterman is a theatre director, playwright, performer and drama teacher who graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and the school of Dramatic Arts in Tel-Aviv.  Work includes multiple international collaborations and performances in London, Israel, Poland and India.  She is a member of the Lincoln Centre Director’s Lab in NYC and was recognised as a promising artist and endorsed for an Exceptionally Talented Artist Visa for the UK by the Arts Council of England in 2015.​

The first instalment of UP NEXT, a Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre partnership with Artistic Directors of the Future.

The UP NEXT initiative is funded by the Arts Council England Sustained Theatre grant. BABYLON is generously supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation.  The BABYLON: Beyond Borders international collaboration is made possible with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Outbox Theatre in association with the Bush Theatre present

AND THE REST OF ME FLOATS 

Written and Devised by the company

Directed by Ben Buratta

Design by Rūta Irbīte

Sound Design by Dominic Kennedy

Lighting Design by Jess Bernberg

Movement Director Coral Messam

Cast includes Josh-Susan Enright, Barry Fitzgerald, Elijah W Harris, Emily Joh Miller, Tamir Amar Pettet and Yasmin Zadeh.

20 Feb– 16 Mar

Press Night 22 Feb

I was born in 1994, then came windows 95,
And I would dive online to be the true me –
A 2cm avatar with a denim mini and a high pony.
Online all the time, to avoid conversation and the frustration of being a he, she, they or me…
I felt free.

And The Rest Of Me Floats is all about the messy business of gender. Performers from across the trans, non-binary, and queer communities weave together autobiographical performance, movement, pop songs, stand-up and dress-up in this anarchic celebration of gender expression and identity.

Playful and powerful, And The Rest Of Me Floats explores how it feels to live in a society where you are regularly categorised and policed. ‘Do you see me?’ Beyond the questions, the confusion, and the anger – ‘do you really see me?’

Outbox have been making theatre queerly since 2010 in collaboration with LGBTQ+ performers, artists and communities to tell stories in bold and exciting ways.

Ben Buratta is founder and artistic director of Outbox. For Outbox he has directed Affection (The Glory), HOOKUP (Hackney Showroom, Contact), You Could Move (Arcola, Contact), Reach Out and Touch Me (Shoreditch Town Hall), and The Front Room (Drill Hall, mac) and curated and produced Outbox Snapshots (Arcola). Other credits include Rocket Girl (Minack Theatre), Quirks (Southwark Playhouse), Tasty (Arcola), and a wide range of projects and productions for communities across the UK.

Loose Tongue and HighTide in association with Bush Theatre present

THE TRICK

By Eve Leigh

Directed by Roy Alexander Weise

WORLD PREMIERE

19 Feb– 23 Mar

Prior to a national tour

Press Night – 25 Feb

‘Of course you take me away from the world, and who cares….. you’re the best reason I know to wake up.’

Mira’s husband, Jonah, died seven months ago, but that doesn’t mean that either of them are ready to let him go.

The Trick is a magic show about getting older and coming to terms with loss. Ghosts, goldfish, mediums, and sleight-of-hand collide in this unpredictable exploration of ageing and grief.

Eve Leigh is a playwright and theatre-maker. She was the recipient of the 2017 Royal Court commission for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama; with her play,Spooky Action at a Distance, produced by the Royal Court, RWCMD, and Gate Theatre. She was the first artist-in-residence at the Experimental Stage of the National Theatre of Greece. Her plays Silent Planet and Stone Face were produced by the Finborough Theatre and published by Oberon Books. Stone Face was shortlisted for three Offies, including Best New Play. Other plays include The Curtain (Young Vic Taking Part), Plunder (Young Vic Taking Part), Red Sky at Night (Bush Theatre), Rapture (Soho Theatre), Enough (Birmingham REP Young Rep). Eve was dramaturg on How To Win Against History (Young Vic). Upcoming commissions include work for the Bush Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Place/DanceEast, 36 МАЙМУНИ (Sofia), and DOCK11 (Berlin).

Director Roy Alexander Weise is the 19th annual winner of the James Menzies-Kitchin Award and directed his critically-acclaimed, sell-out production of The Mountaintopby Katori Hall at the Young Vic. He is shortlisted for the Evening Standard Emerging Talent Award 2018’.  Theatre credits include: Nine Night (National Theatre, Trafalgar Studios), Br’er Cotton (Theatre 503), Heretic Voices (Arcola Theatre); Jekyll and Hyde (National Youth Theatre); Dead Don’t Floss (National Theatre); The Ugly One (Park Theatre, Buckland Theatre Company); The Dark (Fuel & Ovalhouse); Zero For The Young Dudes (Young & Talented in association with NT Connections); The Mountaintop(Young Vic); Primetime (Royal Court, Jerwood Theatre); and Stone Face (Finborough Theatre). Assistant Director credits include: Hangmen (Royal Court and West End); X,Escaped AloneYou For Me For YouPrimetime 2015Violence and SonWho CaresLiberian Girl (Royal Court); AlbionWe Are Proud To Present… (Bush Theatre) and The Serpent’s Tooth (Talawa/Almeida Theatre). For Television, Roy was Trainee Director on Invisible (Red Room/Ballet Boys/Channel 4). Roy has previously worked at the Royal Court as the Trainee Director, at the Bush Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith as the BBC Theatre Fellow and at The Red Room as Associate Artist. Roy is now Associate Director at the Harts Theatre Company and Lead Acting Tutor at Young & Talented School of Stage & Screen.

Loose Tongue is a production company that finds, commissions, premieres, and showcases exceptional new writing. The company’s first production was immersive audio installation Hotel Europe, created by Isley Lynn, David Ralf and Philipp Ehmann. This was followed by the premiere of Sea Fret by Tallulah Brown, at Old Red Lion Theatre, before a performance at HighTide Festival 2017 in the play’s spiritual home of Aldeburgh. Producer David Ralf is Executive Director of The Bunker Theatre. Other productions include Devil With the Blue Dress (The Bunker), Brimstone and Treacle, The Wild Party, Steel Magnolias (The Hope Theatre). Producer Matt Maltby founded Pint-Sized. He co-created Earlsfield Stories for Tara Theatre with Jatinder Verma MBE, co-produced Fabric by Abi Zakarian at Soho Theatre and is New Work Co-Ordinator at The Bunker Theatre.

HighTide is a theatre company and charity based in East Anglia that has an unparalleled eleven-year history of successfully launching the careers of emerging British playwrights.  Through their annual festivals and national touring, HighTide have discovered, provided creative development to and/or staged new plays by Luke Barnes, Adam Brace, E V Crowe, Elinor Cook, Rob Drummond, Thomas Eccleshare, Theresa Ikoko, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Anders Lustgarten, Joel Horwood, Ella Hickson, Harry Melling, Nessah Muthy, Vinay Patel, Nick Payne, Phil Porter, Beth Steel, Al Smith, Sam Steiner, Molly Taylor, Jack Thorne and Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig.

HighTide have staged productions with the highest quality theatres across the UK, from the Traverse in Edinburgh, to the Royal Exchange in Manchester, Theatre Royal Bath and the National Theatre in London. Recent productions and co-productions include: Heroine (HighTide/Theatr Clwyd), Kanye The First (HighTide/Paul Jellis/Marlowe Theatre), Girls (HighTide/Talawa/Soho Theatre), Harrogate (HighTide/house/Royal Court) & In Fidelity (HighTide/Traverse Theatre).

A Bush Theatre co-production with the Institut Français du Royaume Uni as part of its Cross Channel Theatre and En Scène! Programmes

GOING THROUGH

by Estelle Savasta

Translated by Kirsten Hazel Smith

Directed by Omar Elerian

UK PREMIERE

28 Mar– 27 Apr

Press Night – 3 Apr

‘It’s not always children’s stories that happen to children.’

When the men come to drive her away, Youmna cuts off Nour’s hair. And so begins one girl’s journey. By bus, by lorry, into the sound of gun-shots, through adolescence and across borders. All she can take with her is a little box and her memories of Youmna. Youmna, who told her that everything grows back – grass, desires, branches, even hair.

Going Through is the UK premiere of the critically acclaimed French play Traversée. This bilingual production seamlessly mixes English and British Sign Language and is directed by Bush Theatre Associate Director Omar Elerian (MistyNASSIM). It is translated by Kirsten Hazel Smith.Writer and director Estelle Savasta runs ‘Hippolyte a mal au cœur’, a company creating ground-breaking bilingual work based in France. Her first play Seule dans ma peau d’âne received acclaim at the 2008 Molière awards. Going Through (originally Traversée) premiering at the Bush Theatre is her second play.

Omar Elarian is an award winning Italian /Palestinian theatre director, deviser and performer who trained at Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris.  He joined the Bush in 2012 alongside Madani Younis and since then has been the resident Associate Director.  He is in charge of the Bush’s talent development, leading on the Associate Artists and Project 2036 schemes.  He is also involved in the development and delivery of the Bush’s artistic programme and led the programming of the RADAR festival between 2012 and 2015.  His directing credits for the Bush include Misty by Arinzé Kene, NASSIM by Nassim Soleimanpour, One Cold Dark Night by Nancy Harris and Islands by Caroline Horton.  As Associate Director, he has worked alongside Madani Younis on the Bush’s productions of The RoyalePerseverance Drive and Chalet Lines.  Other credits include acclaimed site-specific production The Mill – City of Dreams, Olivier Award nominated You’re Not Like The Other Girls ChrissyTesta di Rame(Italy), Les P’tites Grandes Choses (France) and L’Envers du Décor (France).

Iseult Golden and David Horan in association with The Abbey Theatre (Dublin) and Bush Theatre presents

CLASS

Written and directed by Iseult Golden & David Horan

Set & Costume Design: Maree Kearns
Lighting Design: Kevin Smith
Sound Design: Ivan Birthistle
Sound Design: Vincent Doherty
Cast includes Stephen Jones, Sarah Morris, Will O’Connell

Supported by Culture Ireland

LONDON PREMIERE

7 May – 1 June

Press Night 9 May

God. I hate classrooms. Give me the heebie jeebies. Even still.’Brian and Donna’s son is nine years old, and he’s struggling. That’s what his teacher says. Says he should see a psychologist. But Brian and Donna never liked school, never liked teachers.
So are they going to trust this one?
And should they?

CLASS is a ‘hugely entertaining’ (Irish Times) and ‘emotionally explosive’ (Mail on Sunday) confrontation over learning difficulties, love and entitlement. Side-splittingly funny and beautifully observed, with rave reviews, a sold-out run at the Abbey Theatre and a Fringe First Award from Edinburgh, CLASS is new Irish writing at its finest.

***** ‘An inspired look at society through the prism of a parent-teacher meeting’ –  Sunday Times

***** ‘Three terrific performances, two exceptional writers and directors, and one extraordinary brilliant script’ – The Arts Review

Iseult Golden and David Horan are independent theatre artists who have worked together on new adaptations and original work for over a decade. This is their seventh collaboration.

Iseult Golden is an actor, writer and director. Writing work includes: The Roy Rap for the Little Roy Series (Jam Media / CBBC), co-writer on The Importance of Being Whatever (IFTA Winner 2012) and Belonging to Laura (an adaptation of Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde) for Accomplice Television/TV3 (IFTA Nomination 2009). She also wrote Fireworks, a one-act play for Tall Tales Theatre Company (published as part of the collection TXTs) as well as a number of episodes for Irish soap, Fair City. Directing highlights include: Connected by Will Irvine and Karl Quinn (Fringe/Project Arts Centre), Payback by Marion O’Dwyer and Maria McDermottroe, Mangan’s Last Gasp by Gerard Lee and Buridan’s Ass by SR Plant (Bewley’s Cafe Theatre). Iseult also teaches at the Lir Academy of Dramatic Art.

David Horan is a theatre director and writer, Artistic Director of Bewley’s Café Theatre and a core Acting Tutor at the Lir National Academy. Directing highlights include: Beowulf: the Blockbuster by Bryan Burroughs, These Halcyon Daysby Deirdre Kinahan (Edinburgh Fringe First Winner), Moment by Deirdre Kinahan (Bush Theatre, London), Moll by John B Keane (Gaiety, MCD/Verdant Productions), Pineappleby Phillip McMahon (Calipo/DTF), Hue and Cry by Deirdre Kinahan (IAC New York Times Critics Pick, Bewleys), Macbethand Dancing at Lughnasaby Brian Friel (Second Age), In The Next Room by Sarah Ruhl and Three Winters by Tena Stivicic (Lir Academy)and the award-winning Tick my Box!(Inis Theatre) among others.

China Plate and Bush Theatre present

YVETTE

By Urielle Klein-Mekongo

Directed by Gbolahan Obisesan

Lighting Design by Azusa Ono

14 May – 1 June

Press Night 17 May

‘I see the way that butters-fat-lipped-troll-Patrice looks at him, now she’s the kinda lighty that finks she’s too nice.’Evie is thirteen and lives in Neasden with her Mum. She wants to tell us about something… her crush on Lewis, trying to be a woman, friends, virginity, garage remixes, hello kitty underwear… an ‘Uncle’ lurking in the corner of her story.  She wants to make us laugh, she’s pretty good at it. She wants to tell us something, but she daren’t let it out.  Based a true story, Yvette is a one-woman show with original music and spoken word about a stolen childhood and growing up with a secret. Commissioned by Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Association with Hull 2017.Winner, Young Harts Writing Fest Audience Favourite 2017, Kings Head Theatre Stella Wilkie Award 2017, The East15 Pulse Award 2017.

Urielle Klein-Mekongo is a writer, theatre maker singer/songwriter, performer and a member of Bush Theatre’s Emerging Writer’s Group.  After first entering training via the National Youth Theatre’s Playing Up course in 2013, she went on to study Acting and Contemporary Theatre at East 15 where she graduated in 2017. Yvette marks Urielle’s first professional outing as a writer/performer. Other credits include Swipe (The Arcola with NYT), Three Sisters (East 15). She was selected as one of the writers for the Lyric Fest Gala 2017.

Director Gbolahan Obisesan recently held the role of Genesis Fellow/Associate Director at the Young Vic Theatre. In 2018, Gbolahan’s adaptation of the Booker Prize-nominated novel The Fisherman will premiere at HOME, Manchester (New Perspectives Theatre). Previous directing credits include: 2017 Olivier nominated Cuttin it(Young Vic, Birmingham Rep, Sheffield Crucible, Royal Court, Yard Theatre) Off The Page, a short film for the Royal Court/Guardian’s microplays season, We are Proud to Present… (Bush Theatre), and The Web (Young Vic).

China Plate is an independent theatre studio that works with artists, venues, festivals and funders

to challenge the way performance is made, who it’s made by and who gets to experience it. The

company is currently collaborating with Caroline Horton, Chris Thorpe / Rachel Chavkin,

Contender Charlie, Dan Jones, Sarah Punshon, Rachel Bagshaw, Inspector Sands, Joan Clevillé,

David Edgar, Katie Lyons / Ella Grace and Ben Wright.

The Bush Theatre presents

STRANGE FRUIT

By Caryl Phillips

Directed by Nancy Medina

12 June – 20 July

Press Night 17 June

‘I go half way round the world and back thinking I’d made some sort of discovery and come back to find the same damn lies, the same white lies, the same black lies.’

Alvin and Errol can’t picture much of a future for themselves. They’re young, black and living in England in the 1980s, with an entire country and political system set against them. Instead they focus firmly on their past – the sunny Caribbean and heroic father they left behind when their mother brought them to England twenty years ago. But when Alvin returns home from his grandfather’s funeral in the Caribbean, a new version of their past emerges, and the two brothers are caught in a desperate struggle to unearth the truth about their existence.

Powerful and compelling, Strange Fruit by Caryl Phillips (winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize) is the story of a family caught between two cultures, and the un-crossable no man’s land that can come between parents and their children.

Strange Fruit is the latest edition in the Passing the Baton series, following Winsome Pinnock’s Leave Taking in 2018.

Caryl Phillips was born in St. Kitts and came to Britain at the age of four months. His plays include Strange Fruit (1980), Where There is Darkness (1982), The Shelter (1983) and The Wasted Years (1984). His dramas and documentaries for radio and television include the three-hour film of his own novel The Final Passage and the screenplay for the films Playing Away (1986) and Merchant Ivory’s adaptation of V.S.Naipaul’s The Mystic Masseur (2001).

Nancy Medina is originally from Brooklyn NY, and currently based in Bristol.  She is the 2018 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award winner and will be collaborating with Royal & Derngate and English Touring Theatre on a production in 2019.  In 2017 she was a Genesis Director at the Young Vic.  She is an acting tutor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Course Leader for a post 16 Professional Acting Diploma at Boomsatsuma.    Her directing credits include: Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), When They Go Low (NT Connections/Sherman Theatre), Yellowman (Young Vic), Romeo and Juliet (GB Theatre), As You Like it (GB Theatre), Curried Goat and Fish Fingers (Bristol Old Vic), Dogtag (Theatre West), Strawberry & Chocolate (Tobacco Factory Theatres), Dutchman (Tobacco Factory Theatres) and Persistence of Memory (Rondo Theatre).

Bush Theatre and HighTide present

RUST

By Kenneth Emson

Directed by Eleanor Rhode

26 Jun – 27 July

Press Night 1 July

‘Rule number eleven: We don’t talk about them. Not here. They don’t exist here.’

Nadia and Daniel have a secret. In fact, they have quite a few. They’ve just signed on the dotted line for a studio flat. Under a pseudonym, naturally – Mr and Mrs White. After years of school pick-ups, TV takeaways, and the day to day drudgery of married life, this is their chance to wipe the slate clean. But as much as they try and redefine the rules, and themselves, the outside world is closing in.

Ultra-contemporary, sexy and funny, Rust pushes the boundaries of trust, love and lust to the limit.

Rust is the second collaboration between Bush Theatre and HighTide in 2019, following The Trick.

Kenneth Emson is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. His plays include Quadrophenia (Mercury Theatre), Parkway Dreams (Sir John Mills Theatre) Terrorism (Bush Theatre), This Must be the Place (Vault Festival – co-written with Brad Birch) and Plastic (Old Red Lion). He was co-creator, co-writer and associate producer on the BAFTA Craft, SXSW and Prix Italia nominated The Last Hours of Laura K and adapted Agatha Christie’s The Coming of Mister Quin which was nominated for a BAFTA CYMRU games award. He has written for EastEndersDoctors, BBC Radio 3 and 4 and has been shortlisted for the Bruntwood, Red Planet and Papatango Prizes as well as winning the Adrienne Benham, Off West End Adopt a Playwright and Mercury/Weinberger Playwriting awards.

Eleanor Rhode is an Associate Artist for HighTide. Her most recent work includes the critically acclaimed world premiere of Boudica by Tristan Bernays for the Globe Theatre, Tristan Bernays’ award-winning musical play Teddy at Southwark Playhouse and The Vaults, and comedy musical Thor and Loki at Edinburgh Fringe and HighTide Festivals. This Christmas, Eleanor will direct Wendy and Peter Pan at The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh.

In 2009 she co-founded Snapdragon Productions to bring neglected and unknown works to new audiences. Work for Snapdragon includes the critically acclaimed production of Toast by Richard Bean (UK Tour and New York), which was nominated for Best Touring Production at the 2016 UK Theatre Awards and the world premiere ofTeddy by Tristan Bernays and Dougal Irvine, which won Best New Musical at the 2016 Off West End Awards.

Other recent work includes: Frankenstein (Watermill Theatre and Wilton’s Music Hall), Terrorism (Bush Theatre), Beauty and the Beast (Watford Palace Theatre), When We Were Women (Orange Tree Theatre), Toast and Thark (both Park Theatre), GenerousThe Drawer Boy, and A Life (all Finborough Theatre) and the world premiere of the musical For All That for Centerstage Theater, Seattle.  Eleanor trained at Mountview and the National Theatre Studio.

Further work by the Bush Theatre

Project 2036 is a three-year programme, currently in its third year, which offers a BAMER playwright, director and producer a bursary each, generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust.  Census data suggests that within 20 years half of all young people in London will be of dual heritage.  We see that change on our streets.  We want to see that change on our stages and behind the scenes across our city.  We fear as an industry we are reacting much too slowly and in some cases hardly at all.  It is crucial that we create opportunities for a rich diversity of artists to make work on our main stages and so redefine the canon of British theatre.  Working collaboratively with their peers, each year sees three creatives develop work tied directly to our studio. This year the recipients of the bursary are director Emily Aboud, writer Bisola Elizabeth Alabi and producer Salome Wagaine. Project 2036 is generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Dismantle in association with the Bush Theatre

Dismantle This Room, an immersive escape-room experience which had a sell-out run at the Bush in July 2018 as part of Project 2036, will transfer to the Royal Court in April 2019.

Performance of our Community Associate Company, The Neighbourhood Company, in January 2019. The Community Associate Companies programme sees the Bush Theatre engage with two local community groups each year in a way that is long-lasting, meaningful, creative and inspirational. This project forms part of our strategy to create and demonstrate a model of theatre that is culturally democratic and embedded in its local community. The Neighbourhood Company are a group of 25 local people, between the ages of 10 and 85, from the local community who have been working with the Bush Theatre and Lead Artist Molly Taylor as one of our Community Associate Company to create an original, devised performance which will be staged in the Auditorium at the Bush Theatre.

Bush Theatre recently announced its new youth engagement project, the Young Writers Group – a new 12-week playwriting course for young writers aged 14 – 17.  Eight young people from West London will take part in the course at the theatre which will see them explore different ways of story-telling, writing techniques, conducive ways of offering feedback, and workshopping their plays. They will also take part in an intensive four-day rehearsal period where they will gain experience in producing and directing their and their peers’ plays. Their plays will be performed in a showcase performance attended by agents and industry professionals in April 2019. A taster workshop taking place on November 13 offers young people the chance to find out more and try out some of the writing exercises.

This course will be facilitated by playwright, director and former Literary Assistant at the Bush Theatre, Sophie Paterson.

The Young Writers Group and Young People Programme is generously funded by the Noel Coward Foundation, Hammersmith United Charities, Chapman Charitable Trust, The Mercers Charitable Foundation, Teale Charitable Trust and Kirsten Scott Memorial Trust.

Applications for the Young Writers Group at the Bush Theatre are open from October – 17 December 2018 and application forms can be downloaded here:

https://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/community/young-writers-group/

Applications should be emailed to [email protected]

Offers will be made on 7 January 2019.

Harts Theatre Company and Bush Theatre presents Young Harts Writing Festival 2019

Young Harts Writing Festival is a creatively accessible youth new writing festival on 3 & 4 May which merges the gap between emerging artists and professional artists. It’s a festival that is inclusive of and accessible to talent and audiences with disabilities.

Through an online competition, five plays written by emerging young writers will be chosen. They will receive a free writing master class and one month to redraft their plays. Each young writer will be partnered with a professional writer as a mentor and compete with their mentors in a two-day festival where one writer will win the audience favourite vote each night. The twist? The audience don’t know who has written the play when they cast their vote.

YHWF 2019 will see an all-female professional writing and directing team.

NT Connections at the Bush Theatre

As part of the National Theatre’s Connections festival, the Bush Theatre will host 7 young companies from 29 April to 2 May.

Each year the NT commissions ten new plays for young people to perform, bringing together some of the UK’s most exciting writers with the theatre-makers of tomorrow.  300 youth theatre companies and over 6,000 young people from every corner of the UK are producing a Connections play this year.

Ticket prices

Count Me In: £10 (Theatre)

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

Unwrapped: £15 (£12.50 concessions)

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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First Look: Pre-production images of EdFringe hit ‘All We Ever Wanted Was Everything’ as it transfers to Bush Theatre.

Bush Theatre announces its Emerging Writers Group for 2018

The Bush Theatre today announced the fourth year of its Emerging Writers Group (EWG) with a new intake of writers. The 2018 cohort will be Zia Ahmed, Sophia Chetin-Leuner, Urielle Klein-Mekongo, Ambreen Razia, Ella Road and Patrick Russell.

The EWG is an opportunity for the Bush to develop relationships with new playwrights encountered through unsolicited submissions process and further afield – all of whom are at early stages in their careers.  It aims to support writers over a sustained period of time and help encourage work on a new full length play.

Zia Ahmed is a writer from North-West London. He is part of the London Laureates, having been shortlisted to be the Young Poet Laureate for London 2015/16. He is also a former Roundhouse Slam champion and was in residency at Paines Plough as part of Channel 4’s Playwright Scheme 2017.  Earlier this year Paines Plough toured his show 7 Wanna Be Yours.

Sophia Chetin-Leuner is a writer from London. In 2015 her play Save+Quit won the London Student Drama Festival and went on to be performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, The Oxford Playhouse, The Vault Festival and The New Theatre in Dublin. It was published by Nick Hern Books in 2017. She was selected to be part of the HighTide Academy in 2016 and has recently completed an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch where she was the recipient of the Dalio Family Foundation Scholarship.

Urielle Klein-Mekongo is a singer writer, actress, playwright from north west London. Her recently published play Yvette has toured the UK, including a sell-out run at Bush Theatre, and won the Pulse Award and the Harts audience award for its raw message and use of music and spoken word.

She is a graduate of East 15 acting school and is a member of the National Youth Theatre.

Ambreen Razia is an actress & writer from South London. Her critically acclaimed debut play Diary of a Hounslow Girl, commissioned by Ovalhouse, toured nationally with Black Theatre Live and House Theatre, featured at Alchemy Festival, Southbank and has been commissioned as a TV pilot for BBC Three. Her second play POT is set to go on national tour this Autumn. Awards include Best Newcomer, Asian Media Awards 2016 and Eastern Eye Emerging artist award, 2017. Ambreen was nominated for the Outstanding Achievement Award at the ‘Women of the World’ festival earlier this year. Credits include: On the Middle Day (Old Vic Theatre); Words and Women (Edinburgh Fringe); Diary of a Hounslow Girl (Black Theatre Live National UK Tour); Mind the Gap (National Theatre); No Guts, No Heart, No Glory (Perth International Arts Festival Australia / BBC 4); Random Acts (Channel 4);Murdered by my Father (BBC Three); Finding Fatimah (British Muslim TV); Ladies Day (Sky), Ilford Lane (BFI), Killed by my Debt (BBC); The Harry Hill Sitcom (BBC).

Ella Road graduated from the Oxford School of Drama and Oxford University. Her first play The Phlebotomist went on at the Hampstead Theatre Downstairs April-May 2018. She was on the 2017 script accelerator programme at the Park Theatre and is a Soho Theatre Young Writer. Ella is currently under commission to write new plays for Theatre Royal Plymouth and the Hampstead Theatre Upstairs, and is in development on several projects for TV & Film. Other creative credits include Stand Up 2 Cancer’s video campaign for RSA Films (Autumn 2018, Channel 4), short film The Wyrd and radio play Road to Oxford (BBC R4). Ella also works as an actor, and writes and performs poetry.

Patrick Russell is a Midlands based playwright originally from Yorkshire. He has graduated from the Birmingham REP Foundry group and the SOHO Theatre Young Company. His play Antlers was shortlisted for the Verity Bargate Award in 2017 and won the Tony Craze Award.

Previous alumni of the EWG include Josh Azouz, Lily Bevan, Sevan K. Greene, Nabihah Islam, Gemma Rogers, Sophie Wu (who developed her Bush Theatre hit Ramona Tells Jim whilst at in the group), Tristan Bernays, Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, Kamal Kaan, Jessian Sian, A.C. Smith, Camilla Whitehill, Robyn Addison, Afsaneh Gray, Kelly Jones, Isley Lynn, Eno Mfon and Tom Wentworth.

‘The best thing for me about the programme is that it didn’t try to teach me to write. I’ve been writing for nearly 5 years, I didn’t need another course on the ‘hero’s journey’ and genre. It was more sophisticated than that – it treated us and our methods individually. So it’s hard to say what I learnt, but I know I’m a better writer now.’ Playwright Camilla Whitehilly

Deirdre O’Halloran, Associate Dramaturg at the Bush Theatre said ‘I’m so excited to welcome this new cohort of emerging writers to the Bush.  The programme is now in its fourth year and has really helped us to cement lasting relationships with talented new writers, some of whom we take on to commission or attachment, or in the case of Sophie Wu, to full production with her play Ramona Tells Jim.  I am thrilled to be working with these writers who tell stories in so many different ways – through poetry and comedy, using science fiction genre and song, but always with loads of heart.  I can’t wait to see what they write for the Bush!’

Bush Theatre announces new Community Associate Companies

The Bush Theatre today announced its new Associate Community Companies as This New Ground Collective, led by Spare Tyre and The Neighbourhood Company, led by Artist Molly Taylor.

Bush Community Associate Companies form a long-term, collaborative, creative relationship with the Bush theatre and are given the same resource support and status as Associate Artists. The Bush, alongside Lead Artists chosen by the companies, will develop a programme of regular artistic interventions and activities with these groups which will lead to a centrepiece project performed at the theatre.

This New Ground Collective

This New Ground is an ambitious initiative to elevate the artistic talents of people with learning disabilities based in Hammersmith and Fulham. This New Ground began as a community choir for people with learning disabilities in the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and has since snowballed into something much bigger. Through their exchange projects, they aim to raise the bar for what communities like theirs can achieve and create vital, relevant new artworks for audiences to engage with. Through research and public engagement, they take this work into diverse contexts to cover new ground and deepen our understanding of what is possible. Their Collective of learning disabled and non-disabled artists is the driving force behind everything they do and they will work with Spare Tyre Theatre Company to create a performance for the Bush Theatre.

We are delighted to be the Associate Community Company at the Bush. Our partnership is an opportunity for the collective to collaborate with ground-breaking artists and create innovative, diverse work for new mediums – inspiring social change and celebrating human experience of all kinds.’ – Nathalie Carrington, Artistic Director of This New Ground

I am looking forward to working at the Bush Theatre because it’s an opportunity for me to work with people who are full of creative ideas and I hope to create something that will be remembered for all time even when we are no longer here. Shakespeare done things we still talk about act out and perform, why not us!’ – Faisal Yusuf, Member of This New Ground Collective.

Spare Tyre (Lead Artist)

Spare Tyre is one of the UK’s leading participatory arts charities, with 40 years’ experience of producing bold and powerful theatre with voiceless communities. We use innovative performing and digital arts to challenge prejudice and transform lives, enabling unheard stories to be shared. We currently work with people aged 60+, learning disabled adults, economically disadvantaged communities, women who’ve experienced violence, and people with dementia and carers. We empower participants and artists to have ownership of the creative process enabling personal and political fulfilment and overall wellbeing. Equality, accessibility and diversity are at the heart of everything we do.

The Neighbourhood Company 

The Neighbourhood Company has been running at the Bush Theatre since 2015 as a monthly community theatre group for adults from the local area. The group celebrates and reflects the rich culture of our area and the everyday lives of its residents.  The group will take on writing, acting, producing and stage management roles as they transition to becoming a company in their own right. They will work with Artist, Molly Taylor to create their first performance as The Neighbourhood Company at the Bush Theatre in 2019.

Members of the The Neighbourhood Company said;

The Neighbourhood Project is important because it gets the community together and it is a place where everyone is valued and given the opportunity to thrive in their creativity. This is the only place I can get away from the stress of life, enjoy myself and learn new skills. It is a really special thing to be a part of.’

Bringing together people of all ages, backgrounds, cultures and abilities is amazing.’

Being a part of it has made me realize how much love and pride people have for Shepherds Bush.’

Molly Taylor

Molly Taylor is a playwright and theatre-maker who specialises in creating original performances inspired by the everyday. She blends lyrical yet down-to-earth storytelling to celebrate the relationship between the microcosm –  small, personal, idiosyncratic stories – and the macrocosm; the communities we inhabit. Her work is often drawn from research and autobiography, and she has worked extensively in the participatory sector.

Recent projects include: See Me Now (Young Vic / HighTide / Look Left Look Right), an original performance created with male, female and transgender sex workers. In 2017 she wrote And Yet It Moves (Young Vic Taking Part), and in 2016 she wrote and created The Neighbourhood Project (Bush Theatre), with a community company of local residents.

As a playwright, her one-woman show Love Letters to the Public Transport System was produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, enjoyed a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012, and won the Critics Circle Award at Adelaide Fringe 2018.

Current projects include Cacophony, a new play for the Almeida Young Company to be staged in July 2018, and Extinguished Things which be staged at Summerhall throughout the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Holly Smith, the Bush Theatre’s Community Producer said;

The Community Associate Companies is such an exciting project because it allows the Bush to create deep, meaningful and long lasting relationships with our communities. It’s an exciting opportunity to influence the artistic work of the Bush, as well as highlighting the voices of communities that are often not heard. The participants take a lot of ownership over the direction the project goes in which is a really lovely process to see and be a part of.

 Bush Theatre announces autumn / winter 2018 season

An Adventure
An Adventure

An Adventure

The Bush Theatre announces Dismantle, curated by its Project 2036 participants

  • 6 plays to end the theatre’s 2018 season – including 3 new commissions and 2 world premieres  
  • Full cast announced for Vinay Patel’s An Adventure
  • Misty by Arinzé Kene transfers to the West End following an extended sell-out season at Bush Theatre    

The Bush Theatre today announce additions to their autumn / winter 2018 season with Artistic Director Madani Younis affirming their commitment to discover, nurture and produce the best new playwrights from the widest range of backgrounds, in a bold season of plays and events.

Madani Younis said, ‘As we announce the culmination of our 2018 and a forthcoming transfer into the West End, the journey and success of ‘Misty’ by Arinzé Kene shows the power of an organisation like ours to feed the city’s cultural ecology and to shape its future landscape.  We push the boundaries of new work until they clash head on with the inherent culture all around us – an impetus that’s present across the autumn / winter programme, from ‘An Adventure’, a trans-continental love story that we’ve blown-up to epic proportions, to Dismantle, a radical experiment by this year’s ‘Project 2036’ artists designed to place an uncomfortable spotlight on the power structures of our own industry.

I’m proud that we can shake up cultural offerings whilst still maintaining a great night out for our punters.  Expect to be challenged this season at the Bush, but also to be moved, to feel, to laugh and to cry.

One unexpected outcome of our ‘Misty’ transfer is that many of the creatives who will be working on that show will not be available for ‘Going Through’, which was originally programmed for the autumn.  We now look forward to welcoming them back into the building with the added bonus of the production stepping into our main house and so increasing the amount of people who can see this ground-breaking show

A Bush Theatre Festival

DISMANTLE by Project 2036

24 Jul – 4 Aug

How do we dismantle existing power structures, both in theatre and the wider world? And what should we build in their place?  Through workshops, installation, interactive performance and a house party, Dismantle: A Festival About Power will interrogate these questions.

This festival is created and curated by the current cohort of Project 2036, Milli Bhatia, Ingrid Marvin and Nina Segal. They facilitated a series of open conversations this year, to interrogate existing power structures in theatre – and how it intersects with gender, race, class, economics and education. This festival is the result of those conversations, exploring new potential models for the future.

Project 2036 is a programme run by the Bush Theatre, which offers three artists of colour – a director, a producer and a playwright – a year-long bursary, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and the opportunity to curate the Studio for a fortnight.

Throughout their residency, this year’s Project 2036 cohort have committed to widening access and sharing resources. To actively practice the redistribution of power, they have partnered with three Associate Companies, Art+ Feminism, Skindeep and Sisters Uncut, who will deliver and support workshop events as part of the opening week.

 

Project 2036 in association with Skindeep present

ZINE MAKING WORKSHOP

24 Jul at 7.30pm

A zine-making workshop responding to the theme of power structures in the theatre industry, led by Anna Himali Howard, supported by Associate Company Skindeep and Project 2036.

Prepare for an evening of radical discourse accompanied by cutting, sticking and photocopying.

The content created in this workshop will form part of a larger publishing project DISMANTLE: A ZINE ABOUT POWER. This zine will be created from content gathered throughout 2018 from Project 2036 associate artists, responses to an open call-out and material generated through this workshop. It will be published in September 2018 in paper and digital forms.

Anna Himali Howard is a director and theatre maker. Skindeep are a London-based multimedia platform that amplifies voices of colour through discussion of race and culture.

 

Project 2036 in association with Art+Feminism present

HACK THE INTERNET

25 Jul at 7.30pm

 

Who edits Wikipedia?

In a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identify as women – there are no statistics on how many of these are women of colour. The lack of inclusive participation had led to an alarming gap of content – and inherent bias – in the world’s most popular research tool.  For this workshop, Project 2036 will host an ART+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, as a way to begin to address that imbalance and improve online coverage of women of colour in the arts.  The workshop will include tutorials for beginners and editing support, alongside discussion and refreshments.

Art+Feminism run edit-a-thons and other initiatives to make an impact on the gender gap through crucial improvements to gender, feminism and art-related subjects on Wikipedia.

 

THEATRE AND PROTEST WORKSHOP

26 Jul at 7.30pm

What are the theatrical elements of creative direct action?

Join Associate Company Sisters Uncut and Project 2036 to explore the connections between theatre and protest in an interactive workshop, rehearsing and recreating protest tactics.

Sisters Uncut is a feminist direct action group which fights against sexual, state and gendered violence.  They will draw on their own experiences, as well as looking at examples of other historical protests which helped inspire social justice movements.

 

Project 2036 presents

DISMANTLE HOUSE PARTY

27 Jul at 8.30pm

Turn up the music. Help yourself to food and drink. Make yourself comfortable. This is your house.

A large part of dismantling power structures is questioning the ways in which we use and access public spaces. How do we retake control of public spaces? After workshops and conversations investigating possible ways to invert the use of the Bush Theatre, Project 2036 have decided to take the potentially radical action of: throwing a house party.

Whether you’ve been to the Bush a hundred times or you’ve never been to any theatre before, this party is about engaging with the Studio at the Bush Theatre in a new way.

 

BECOMING ACTIVISTS OF THE FUTURE

28 Jul at 2pm

What do we hope the world will look like by the year 2036?

Census data suggests that by 2036, half of all young people in London will be of dual heritage.  Through a series of games and exercises, we aim to empower young people aged 8-14 to discuss what other changes they would like to see in the next eighteen years, and to examine ways in which they can become activists of their own futures.

 

DISMANTLE THIS ROOM

31 Jul – 4 Aug at 7pm & 9pm

 

Stage a violent revolution. Take them down from the inside. Blow the whistle. Or leave it all behind and entirely start over.

Dismantle This Room is an escape-the-room experience giving you the opportunity to interrogate – and consequently dismantle – the inherited (and often invisible) power structures in theatre. Which raises the question – what should we build in their place?

No matter how much or how little you know about the theatre industry, Dismantle this Room will be a provocative and uniting experience.

Dismantle This Room is an interactive performance collaboratively created by Milli Bhatia (Hijabi Monologues London), Ingrid Marvin and Nina Segal (In The Night Time (Before The Sun Rises)Big Guns). The performance lasts an hour with an additional 30 minutes for informal conversation afterwards.

 

WORLD PREMIERE

A Bush Theatre production

AN ADVENTURE by Vinay Patel

 

Directed by Madani Younis

Designed by Rosanna Vize

Cast  – Nila Aalia, Martins Imhangbe, Aysha Kala, Selva Rasalingham, Shubham Saraf and Anjana Vasan

 

6 Sep – 20 Oct

Press Night 11 Sep

 

Vinay’s recent BBC drama Murdered by My Father was one of the smash-hits of 2016. Having broken onto the scene with the critically acclaimed True Brits, An Adventure will be his biggest and boldest play yet. A drama of unprecedented scope and heart, spanning seven decades and three continents, inspired by the experiences of his immigrant grandparents.

A borrowed suit. A half-remembered film. A life of homecomings.

“I’m not much now, I know, but I will be. So pick me Jyoti and I swear I will make us the greatest adventure you ever have.”

On a stormy night in 1954, a woman doomed to marry one of five men discovers the wildcard choice might just be the person she’d been hoping for all along. An Adventure follows headstrong Jyoti and her fumbling suitor Rasik as they ride the crest of the fall of Empire from the shores of post-Partition India to the forests of Mau Mau Kenya onto the industrial upheaval of 1970s London and the present day.

But what happens when youthful ambitions crash hard against reality? When you look back at the story of your time together, can you bear to ask yourself: Was it all worth it?

Witty, charming and full of fearless historical insight, An Adventure is an epic, technicolor love story from one of the country’s most promising young writers about the people who journeyed to these shores in hope and shaped the Britain we live in today.

This world premiere will be directed by Bush Artistic Director, Madani Younis (The RoyaleLeave Taking).

The cast includes Nila Aalia who has recently filmed A Discovery Of Witches – (all Souls Trilogy) for Bad Wolf Ltd as well as action-packed thrillerThe Commuter starring Liam Neeson.  Other TV and film credits include: Wolfblood (CBBC), The Rebel (Retort), The Intern (Boundless Productions), Scott & Bailey Season 2 (ITV) , Silent Witness (BBC), Diverted (Big Tree Productions), Whitechapel (Carnival Films), Hollyoaks (Lime Pictures), Outnumbered (Hat Trick), Bike Squad (Hat Trick), 5 Days (BBC/HBO), A Touch Of Frost (ITV), Torchwood (BBC), Broken News (BBC),Casualty (BBC), Doctors (BBC), Eastenders (BBC), Life isn’t all Ha Ha He he (BBC/Hat Trick), Taggart (ITV1/SMG TV), If Drugs Were Legal (BBC),Spooks (BBC/Kudos), A Good Year (Stripe Productions) . Stage Credits include: Bombay Dreams (Really Useful Theatre Company), Elder Latimer is In Love (Arcola Theatre), Ramayana (Sita Theatre), Mahabharata (Gita Productions), Instant Celebrity (Silver Star Productions). Martins Imhangbe’s theatre include Absolute HellBarber Shop ChroniclesThe RoyalLuceOctagonThe SkrikerLionboyDas DingRomeo and JulietCinderellaA Human Being Died That NightSold and What Does It Take. On film he appeared in The Last British Execution.  Aysha Kala trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Her theatre work includes Obsession (Barbican), Frogman (Shoreditch Town Hall), Punk Play and Farragut North (Southwark Playhouse), Djinns of Eidgah (Royal Court), Khadija is 18 (Finborough) and Much Ado About Nothing (RSC).  Aysha has also appeared in two series of Indian Summers for Channel 4; Vicious and Shameless. Her film work includes Second Coming and Jadoo.  Aysha was named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit of 2015. Selva Rasalingham’s theatre include The Captive Queen (Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare’s Globe),Disgraced (English Theatre Frankfurt), The Riots (Tricycle), Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom (Tricycle, New Ambassadors),Midnight’s Children (RSC), On the Record (Arcola), The Nightmares of Carlos Fuentes (Arcola). Television includes VersaillesEastendersSilent WitnessThe MissingHustleCasualty, LutherDoctor WhoSpooks (BBC); Run (Ch.4); Strike BackLegendsThe Borgias (Sky). Selva’s film appearances include Damascus CoverThe MummyGospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and JohnPrince of PersiaThe Veteran and Risen.  Shubham Saraf trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  His theatre appearances include: HamletAs You Like It and Lions and Tigers (Globe Theatre).  Film includes: OverlordThe Cut and Honour and television includes The Bodyguard (BBC) and Fresh Meat (Channel 4).  Anjana Vasan’s work in theatre includes: Summer and Smoke (Almeida) King LearA Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe); Life of Galileo (Young Vic); Image of an Unknown Young Woman (Gate Theatre); DaraBehind The Beautiful Forevers (National Theatre); Macbeth (Park Armory New York/Manchester International Festival); The Taming of the Shrew; Much Ado About Nothing (RSC) and The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (National Theatre Wales). On television Anjana has appeared in Hang UpsIll BehaviourBlack MirrorCall the MidwifeFresh Meat and her films include The Children ActCinderella.

An Adventure has been made possible by a lead gift from Charles Holloway. The production is also generously supported by the Peter Wolff Theatre Trust, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, the London Community Foundation and the Bush Theatre’s Production Syndicate.

Middle Child in association with the Bush Theatre present

ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING 

Written by Luke Barnes

Music by James Frewer

Directed by Paul Smith

Designed by Bethany Wells

31 Oct – 24 Nov

Press Night 2 Nov

Meet Leah and Chris; raised on Harry Potter, New Labour and a belief that one day they would be as ‘special’ as their parents promised. But what happens when those dreams don’t become reality?

Set across three decades, from 1997’s Cool Britannia to today’s Brexit Britain, this is multi-award winning gig theatre that mixes original live music from James Frewer with bold new writing by Luke Barnes.

It’s a story about the world we inherited and the one we’re leaving behind. It’s the story of a million beating hearts. And an asteroid with other plans.

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything has been awarded 2017 Broadway Bobby Award; 2017 The Stage Excellence Award for Acting for Marc Graham; ‘The Best of the Best 2017’ by the 730 Review and was an Edinburgh Festival Fringe Sell Out Show.

Middle Child are a Hull-based company creating gig theatre that brings people together for a good night out with big ideas. They tell untold stories which capture the electrifying moment when the beat drops, mixing original live music with bold new writing. Their events are live and loud, making sense of the modern world.

They are committed to breaking down barriers and ensuring that theatre is affordable and accessible for all. They will set fire to your expectations of what a night at the theatre can be.

Middle Child are an associate company of Paines Plough and an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, supported by Absolutely Cultured and Hull City Council. All We Ever Wanted Was Everything at the Bush Theatre is supported by the Backstage Trust.

 

A Boundless Theatre and Script Club production in association with Bush Theatre

DRIP words by Tom Wells & music by Matthew Robins

Cast: Andrew Finnigan

Director: Jane Fallowfield

Designer: Russ Henry
Lighting Designer: Adam Foley

3 – 22 Dec

Press Night 6 Dec

A one-man musical comedy by award-winning duo Tom Wells (words) and Matthew Robins (music) fresh from a sell-out tour.

Liam is 15 and he’s just signed up for Bev Road Baths’ first ever synchronised swimming team. It’s for his best mate Caz really. She needs to get a team together to win the annual Project Prize at school. She tries every year. She always loses. But Liam’s an optimist, he’s determined to help.

There’s just one problem. Liam can’t swim.

The original production was supported by Hull City Council and Hull UK City of Culture.

 

tutti fruitti and York Theatre Royal in association with the Bush Theatre present

SNOW QUEEN by Mike Kenny

Directed by Wendy Harris

Composer Ivan Stott

Designed by Kate Bunce​

3 – 8 Dec

Kai and Gerda had been friends for as long as they could remember. Day followed day, Always the same.

Until, in a whirl of magic and deception, splinters of a magical broken mirror blow in the wind, freezing hearts and changing everything!

As Kai is pulled under the spell of the powerful snow queen of ice and coldness, we follow Gerda’s quest to save her friend and return life to normal.

Can it ever be the same again?

Mike Kenny has taken Hans Christian Andersen’s most highly acclaimed story and simplified it into a tale for the young. Ivan Stott returns to tutti frutti (Underneath a Magical Moon) to create memorable music and songs accompanied by a typically beautiful tutti frutti design.

Join us on a winter journey about growing up, loyalty, friendship and the dangers of the unknown.

Especially for those aged 3+

 

A Bush Theatre and Antler co-production

LANDS by Antler

Created by Jaz Woodcock-Stewart with Sophie Steer and Leah Brotherhead

Directed by Jaz Woodcock-Stewart

Cast includes Sophie Steer and Leah Brotherhead

Additionally devised with Richard Perryman and Nasi Voutsas

13 Nov – 8 Dec

Press Night 15 Nov

Jaz Woodcock-Stewart is co-artistic director of Bush Associate company Antler who tell stories through theatre and film. Antler are winners of an IdeasTap Underbelly Award, winner of Pulse Festival Suitcase Prize, nominees for The Stage Best Ensemble Award, and winner of Best Short Fiction at BFI Future Film Festival. They have transferred shows to the Bush, Soho Theatre and toured the UK.

Leah and Sophie have been together, here, for a long time. They are happy here.

But there’s a problem. There’s a fucking massive problem and soon they’re going to have to talk about it. From their own lonely lands, Leah and Sophie seek to help each other, without quite knowing how.

The award-winning Antler return with a playful, intimate dissection of a relationship teetering on the edge of collapse. Lands is an absurd tragicomedy, exploring the impossibility of relationships and our inability to understand one another. This moving play arrives at the Bush following a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017.

Bush Associate Artists are kindly supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation.

 

UK PREMIERE

A Bush Theatre co-production with the Institut Français du Royaume Uni as part of its Cross Channel Theatre and En Scène! programmes

GOING THROUGH by Estelle Savasta

Translated by Kirsten Hazel Smith

Directed by Omar Elerian

28 Mar – 27 Apr

Press Night 3 Apr

Writer and director Estelle Savasta runs ‘Hippolyte a mal au cœur’, a company creating ground-breaking bilingual work based in France. Her first play Seule dans ma peau d’âne received acclaim at the 2008 Molière awards. Going Through (originally Traversée) premiering at the Bush Theatre is her second play and will have its English language premiere at the Bush.

The little box is on the shelf. She is allowed to look at it and to touch it.

I am not allowed to open it.

She is not allowed to open it.

                I  promised.

She promised.​

For as long as she can remember, Nour has lived with Youmna. Youmna is beautiful and gentle and good, and she smells like the wind. She’s also deaf. But Youmna is not Nour’s mother, even though she wishes she was.

Nour’s journey begins without warning. The men come to drive her to a new life faraway, in a better place for girls like her. All she can take with her is a little box and the memory of Youmna’s loving hands.

Going Through is a poetic and touching story of one girl’s journey through adolescence, across borders and through a well-guarded secret. This bilingual production seamlessly mixes English and British Sign Language and is directed by Bush Theatre Associate Director Omar Elerian (Misty, NASSIM, One Cold Dark Night, Islands).

Thank you to the Dorsett Shepherds Bush for their support in-kind.

 

Also at the Bush Theatre

Our Associate Artists programme is in its second year with an intake of three artists whose practice is focused on new writing and new work.  Supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, the Associate Artists will be attached to our new Studio.  We continue to work with last year’s artists Milk Presents, Deafinitely Theatre and ANTLER Theatre whilst this year welcoming new Associate Artists Sh!t Theatre, Gameshow and Rachel Bagshaw.

Up Next will hand over the power and resources to visionary BAMER leaders and artists.  Artistic Directors of the Future have partnered with the Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre to respond to the needs of ADF members in giving them practical leadership experience across a range of disciplines including artistic direction, producing, programming, fundraising, marketing and production and the opportunity to become part of a network of BAMER leaders going through a similar experience who can share learning and support each other. Tobi Kyeremateng, Sita Thomas and Ruthie Osterman will be handed the keys to the Bush Theatre in early 2019.

 

And in the West End

In Misty Arinzé Kene takes us on an epic, lyrical journey through the pulsating heart and dark soul of inner city London. An inventive blend of gig theatre, spoken word, live art and direct address, Misty which premiered at the Bush Theatre in March and extended after a sell-out season transfers to the West End in September, opening at Trafalgar Studios on 8 September (press night 13 September).

Confronting the assumptions and expectations underpinning the act of telling a story, Misty is directed by Bush Theatre Associate Director Omar Elerian (NASSIM, Islands) and features an original musical score performed live during the show.

 

Ticket prices at the Bush Theatre

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

 

The sold-out Bush Theatre production of Arinzé Kene’s ‘Misty’ transfers to the West End

Arinze Kené in Misty © Helen Murray
Arinze Kené in Misty © Helen Murray

Arinze Kené in Misty © Helen Murray

Following its sold-out run at the Bush Theatre, Arinzé Kene’s acclaimed Misty transfers to London’s Trafalgar Studios for six weeks only from 8 September 2018 (press night 13 September). Tickets go on sale at 10am on 29 June.

Through a blend of theatre, gig and performance poetry, Arinzé delivers an epic, heartfelt and playful exploration of creative freedom, set against a pulsating vision of modern London.

Misty is directed by Bush Theatre Associate Director Omar Elerian (NASSIM, One Cold Dark NightIslands) and features an original musical score performed live during the show.

‘Here is the city that we live in

Notice that the city that we live in is alive

Analyse our city and you’ll find that our city even has bodily features

Our city’s organs function like any living creature

Our city is a living creature

And if you’re wise enough, you’ll know not all of us are blood cells…

Some of us are viruses.’

Screen International UK Star of Tomorrow, actor and writer Arinzé Kene was raised in London to Nigerian parents. His most recent plays include good dog, which tiata fahodzi theatre company toured throughout the UK in 2017, God’s Property, a co-production with Talawa, whichran at Soho Theatre in 2013 and Little Baby Jesus, directed by Che Walker at the Oval House Theatre, where his play Estate Walls was also produced. Arinzé was named ‘Most Promising Playwright’ at the Off West End Theatre Awards for Estate Walls in 2011, which was also nominated for Best New Play.

His original feature film, Seekers, is on the Brit List and currently in development. Arinzé was also involved in the development of the second series of Big Talk’s Youngers for E4, in which he played the part of Ashley.

On screen he appeared in new E4/Netflix Original series Crazyhead and took the lead of ‘Ade’ in the film The Pass opposite Russell Tovey for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 2016 BIFA’s and won the Best Supporting Actor award at the 2016 Evening Standard Film Awards. On stage he played soul singing legend ‘Sam Cooke’ in One Night in Miami at the Donmar Warehouse and in Girl from The North Country in the West End. Next he takes the lead role opposite Micaela Cole in Netflix’s acquired feature film, Been So Long and in the BBC’s new thriller, opposite Paddy Considine, Informer.

Omar Elerian is an award-winning Italian / Palestinian theatre director, deviser and performer who trained at Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris.  He joined the Bush in 2012 alongside Madani Younis and since then has been the resident Associate Director.  His directing credits for the Bush include NASSIM by Nassim Soleimanpour, One Cold Night by Nancy Harris, Islands by Caroline Horton and Leave Taking by Winsome Pinnock.  As Associate Director he has worked alongside Madani Younis on the Bush’s productions of The RoyalePerseverance Driveand Chalet Lines.  Other credits include acclaimed site-specific production The Mill – City of Dreams, Olivier Award-nominated You’re Not Like the Other Girls ChrissyTesta di Rame (Italy), Les P’tites Grandes Choses (France) and L’Envers Du Décor (France).

Misty is the fourth theatre production Shiloh Coke has musically directed after having previously worked on the Donmar’s Shakespeare Trilogy (Julius CaesarHenry IV and The Tempest) for both stage and screen (including the New York transfer of The Tempest).

Shiloh’s acting stage credits include Into The Woods (Stratford Circus), Tomorrow’s World (Theatre Centre), The Litter (Bargehouse), Henry IV(Donmar Warehouse), The Chaplain (Yard Theatre), Henry IV (St Ann’s Warehouse NYC), The Tempest (Shakespeare Trilogy), Julius Caesar(Shakespeare Trilogy), Henry IV (Shakespeare Trilogy), The Tempest (St Ann’s Warehouse NYC).

Musical Director and musician Adrian McLeod has worked with various artists such as Toddla T, Chronixx, Sway and Plan B.

Rajha Shakiry is a freelance theatre designer and maker, who works across the spectrum of scripted and devised theatre, dance, musical theatre, and opera. Born in Iraq and educated in England, Rajha’s work has most recently been exhibited at the V&A (Make:Believe, 2015) and as a finalist at World Stage Design 2013.

Recent projects include: The Mountaintop (Young Vic/JMK), Mobile (The Paper Birds), The Head Wrap Diaries (Uchenna Dance) and Muhammad Ali & Me (Mojisola Adebayo). Rajha’s current collaborations include projects at the National Theatre, the Bush Theatre, and The Place.

Kirsty Housely is a theatre director, writer, dramaturg and an associate of Complicité. Work with Complicité includes: The Encounter (UK/International Tour – Co-Director), Seen and Not Heard (Southbank Centre), A Pacifists Guide to the War on Cancer (National Theatre – Dramaturg) and War and War (Pleasance). Other recent directing includes: The Believers Are But Brothers (Edinburgh Fringe and Bush Theatre); Wanted (Chris Goode and Company /Transform Festival/West Yorkshire Playhouse), Walking The Tightrope (Offstage andTheatre Uncut), All I Want (Live Theatre, Leeds Libraries and Jackson’s Lane) and Mass (Amy Mason / Bristol Old Vic / CPT). She is currently collaborating with Bryony Kimmings, Complicité, The Unicorn and the Bush Theatre. Her play Myth (written with Matt Hartley, from an original idea from Kirsty) was performed at the RSC in Spring 2017.

Sound Designer Elena Peña designed the sound for Hir by Taylor Mac and Islands by Caroline Horton at the Bush Theatre. Other theatre credits include: The Caretaker (Bristol Old Vic, Royal & Derngate); Pixel Dust and Wonder (Edinburgh Festival); The Bear/The ProposalFlashes (Young Vic); The Lounge (Soho Theatre – Offie Nomination For Best Sound Design); Boat (Company Three, Battersea Arts Centre); Years Of Sunlight (Theatre 503); Sleepless (Shoreditch Town Hall, Staatstheater Mainz); I Call My Brothers (Gate Theatre); Patrias (Sadlers Wells Theatre, Eif); Thebes Land, Brimstone And Treacle (Arcola Theatre); The Christians (Gate Theatre, Traverse Theatre); Brainstorm (ICT, National Theatre); The Kilburn PassionArabian Nights (Tricycle Theatre); Not Now Bernard (Unicorn Theatre); Pim & Theo (Nie With Odsherred Teater, Denmark, Unicorn Theatre); Mass Observation (Almeida Theatre); Village Social (National Theatre Wales); Quimeras (Sadlers Wells, Eif); The 13 MidnightChallenges Of Angelus Diablo (RSC); Gambling (Soho Theatre); My Name Is Sue (Soho Theatre, Bristol Old Vic); Under Milk Wood (Royal & Derngate).
Elena’s sound installation includes: Have Your Circumstances Changed? and Yes These Eyes Are The Windows (Artangel). Television/Online includes: Brainstorm Live at Television Centre (BBC4 and iPlayer); The Astro Science Challenge (Online Television Episodes, Unlimited Theatre).Radio includes: The Meet Cute (Recordist /Sd/Editor/Musician, BBC R4) Twelve Years (Recordist / SD / Editor, BBC R4).

Jackie Shemesh is a designer of lighting and space. He works internationally in dance, theatre, music and with performance and visual artists. Most recently he has designed for projects as part of Manchester International Festival 2017 (Yael Bartana – What if Women Ruled the World and Phil Collins – Ceremony); for new work by Ben Duke for Rambert Dance Company; and The Almeida’s productions of Robert Icke’s Mary Stuartand Uncle Vanya.

Jackie has designed for many theatre productions in the UK including works for Lyric Hammersmith; Bristol Old Vic; Duchess theatre and Trafalgar Studios West End; The Young Vic; Bush Theatre; Curve Theatre, Leicester and more. Jackie has designed the lighting for many dance companies including Batsheva Ensemble, Ballet Boyz, Arthur Pita/Sadler’s Wells, National Dance Company Wales, Scottish Dance Theatre, CanDoCo, Protein and Avant Garde among others. Other collaborations around Europe include the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Steirischer Herbst Festival Austria and several productions for the Hebbel Theatre Berlin.

Daniel Denton is a London based Video Designer and Animator and associate of video design collective Mesmer. A graduate of the University for the Creative Arts his background was originally in illustration and experimental film. He has gone on to animate and design visuals for a range of different media from theatre, opera, music, fashion, web and broadcast.

His original designs include: Alice in Winterland (The Rose Theatre); Flashdance: The Musical (UK Tour); As You Like It(Theatre By The Lake); To Love Somebody Melancholy (UK Tour); Ready Or Not (Arcola Theatre and UK Tour); Peter Pan(Exeter Northcott); Bumblescratch(Adelphi Theatre); Biedermann and the Arsonists (Sadler’s Wells).

Misty

8 September – 20 October at 7.30pm

Matinees on Thursdays and Saturdays at 2.30pm

Audio described performance on 24 September at 7.30pm

Captioned performance on 1 October at 7.30pm

Age guidance – 14+, please note that strong language is used in this production

Ticket prices from £10

Booking:

http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/trafalgar-studios/

Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DY

0844 871 7632 (Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge)

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Cast announced for Winsome Pinnock’s ‘Leave Taking’ at Bush Theatre

Winsome Pinnock is ‘the godmother of Black British playwrights’ (The Guardian) who defined and inspired a generation with her work for the stage.

To begin Bush Theatre’s three-year initiative Passing the Baton, introducing or reacquainting theatregoers with the artists of colour who carved their way through British playwriting with distinction, paving the way for many of the writers and performers who appear at Bush Theatre, Artistic Director Madani Younis will direct a contemporary revival of Leave Taking, Pinnock’s classic, award-winning play from 24 May to 30 June (press night 31 May).

For each of the three years of Passing the Baton, a promising emerging writer of colour will be given a full length commission for the main house alongside mentoring to develop their work, so passing the baton between established writers and emerging writers of colour.  The first writer will be announced in May.

‘Passing the Baton will create a dialogue between past, present and future generations’ –  Winsome Pinnock

The cast of Leave Taking has today been announced as Adjoa Andoh (Mai), Seraphina Beh (Del), Nicholle Cherrie (Viv), Wil Johnson (Brod), Sarah Niles (Enid).

 

In Deptford, Del and Viv are soul-sick.  Del doesn’t want to be at home – staying out late, 3pm-the-next-day late is more her thing.  Viv scours her school books trying to find a trace of herself between their lines.

When Enid takes her daughters to the local ‘Obeah’ woman for some traditional Caribbean soul healing, secrets are spilled.  There’s no turning back for Del, Viv and Enid as they negotiate the frictions between their countries and cultures.

Two generations.  Three incredible women.  Leave Taking is the epic story of what we leave behind in order to find home.

Winsome Pinnock won the George Devine Award for Leave Taking in 1991 and was the first black British woman to have a play produced at the National Theatre. She has written numerous, award-winning plays that put black experiences centre-stage. In 2017, Winsome’s short play The Principles of Cartography opened the newly refurbished Bush Theatre as part of Black Lives, Black Words.

Winsome Pinnock said:

‘The young woman that I was when I first wrote Leave Taking looked forward to a post-racial world. The play was last produced in London in 1997 so I was thrilled when in October 2017 the Bush Theatre informed me that they were going to revive the play.  The exciting news also gave me pause to reflect on whether the goals of my parents’ generation – often called the Windrush generation and the focus of the play – had been achieved.

That same month the government released its Racial Disparity Audit. Twenty years after Leave Taking was last produced in London the statistics reveal that BAME people continue to face discrimination in almost every sphere of social life whether it be within the criminal justice system, housing or employment. It brought into focus the importance of Passing the Baton which I am immensely proud to be part of. The initiative will create a dialogue between past, present and future generations as well give a voice to those who continue to be marginalised.’

Adjoa Andoh is making her Bush Theatre debut.  Previous theatre includes Julius Caesar (Bridge Theatre), Assata Taught Me (Gate Theatre), Soul(Royal & Derngate, Hackney Empire), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Donmar Warehouse), Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes (Tricycle Theatre), Great Expectations (Bristol Old Vic), Julius Caesar (RSC),  Or You Could Kiss Me (National Theatre),  Joe Turner’s Come and GoneIn The Red And Brown Water (Young Vic), The Revenger’s Tragedy (National Theatre), Purgatorio (Arcola), Sugar Mummies (Tricycle), Nights at the Circus (Lyric, Hammersmith), Blood Wedding (Almeida Theatre), His Dark Materials (National Theatre), In The Bunker With The Ladies (Drill Hall), Stuff Happens(National Theatre), Pericles (Lyric, Hammersmith), The Vagina Monologues (Old Vic), Breath Boom (Royal Court), A Streetcar Names Desire(National Theatre studio), The Dispute (RSC/Lyric Hammersmith), Starstruck (Tricycle), Tamburlaine and The Odyssey (RSC), Death Catches the Hunter (Traverse), Love at A Loss (BAC National tour), Cloud Nine (Contact), The Snow Queen  and Glory (Lyric, Derby Playhouse, West Yorkshire Playhouse), Our Day Out (Birmingham Rep), Princhdice and Co (Women’s Theatre Group), Crowned With Fame (Swan RSC), Getting Through(International tour), Twice Over (Gay Sweatshop), Lear’s Daughters (Women’s Theatre Group). On film Adjoa has appeared in Brotherhood,RemainderJulius CaesarInvictusAdulthoodEvery Time I Look at YouA Rather English Marriage, I Is a Long Married Woman and What My Mother Told Me.

Television includes Death in Paradise (BBC), Acceptable Risk (RTE) Liar (ITV), Line of DutyNew TricksRiver (BBC), Cucumber (Ch4), Brian Pern: Death of Rock (BBC4), Broadchurch: Series 2 (ITV), Wizards vs Aliens (CBBC), The Interceptor (BBC), Chasing Shadows (ITV), Grandpa in My Pocket (CBBC), Law and OrderScott and Bailey (ITV), Missing (BBC), Mrs. Inbetweeny (BBC3), MI HighDoctor WhoThe Shadow in the North,  (BBC), Wire in the Blood (ITV), Chopra TownSilent Witness (BBC), The Bill (ITV), Dalziel & PascoeEvery Time I Look At YouCasualtyIn Search of Myths and HeroesMacbethJonathan CreekA Rather English MarriageClose Relations (BBC), The BillPeak PracticeThieftakers (ITV), Brass Eye(Ch4), Twelve Angry Men (ITV), An Independent Man (BBC), Tomorrow PeopleCircle of Deceit (ITV), What My Mother Told Me (Film Four), Health and Efficiency , Brittas Empire (BBC), Birthrights; West Indian Women at War (Ch4), The Missing FingerEastenders (BBC), The South Bank Show(ITV), One in Four A Short Film About MemoirsBedtime Stories (BBC).

Seraphina Beh recently appeared in the Bush Theatre and Royal Exchange Theatre’s production of Parliament Square. Her other theatre credits include: Pigeon EnglishRomeo & JulietDNA (National Youth Theatre); Cosmic Jives (Albany Theatre); Black Attack (Bush Theatre); My Beautiful City (Arcola Theatre); Jack and The Beanstalk (Lyric Hammersmith); OndistingRomeo & Juliet Et Al and Skeen (Ovalhouse Theatre). Television credits include: Eastenders (BBC), Casualty (BBC), Game Face (Objective Productions) and Live at The Electric (Avalon Television).

Nicholle Cherrie is a recent graduate of Arts Ed. Her theatre credits include: Mamma Mia (Cyprus) in the role of Lisa and Jesus Christ Superstar(Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). Whilst in training her credits include: The LifeThe Mystery of Edwin DroodWish Me LuckCandideHay Fever(Arts Ed); My Lifelong Love; Olivier Awards 2016; Olympia Horse Show.

Wil Johnson Wil Johnson is an extraordinary stage actor whose extensive credits include: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Old Vic), King Lear(Royal Exchange), A Wolf In Snakeskin Shoes (Tricycle Theatre), Fuente Ovejuna (Royal National Theatre), Redundant (Royal Court), A Mad World My Masters (Shakespeare’s Globe), Serious Money (Birmingham Rep), The Queen and I (Out Of Joint), Torn (Arcola Theatre) and the lead in Othello(Royal Lyceum). Most recently, Wil appeared in Fuente Ovejuna (National Theatre).

TV credits include Carnival Row (Legendary), Outlander (Starz/Amazon), Vera (ITV), Waking the Dead (BBC), Lewis (ITV), The Five and Clocking Off(Red Productions), Moving On (LA Productions) and BAFTA best drama series, Cracker (Granada Television). Wil has also appeared in Waterloo Road (Shed Production), Hollyoaks (C4) and Emmerdale (ITV Yorkshire).

Wil’s film credits include Adulthood (Adulthood ltd), Anuvahood (Revolver), Midnight Breaks (Film 4), Dead End (Oceanstorm films) and Macbeth(Green Screen Productions).

Sarah Niles last appeared at the Bush Theatre in The Interrogation of Sandra Bland as part of Black Lives, Black Words. Her theatre credits include: BThe Sewing GroupFather Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), Truth & Reconciliation (Royal Court); Boy (Almeida); The Crucible (Old Vic); Anthony & Cleopatra (RSC/Off Broadway); TableMrs Affleck (National); A Question of Freedom (Feelgood); The Long Road(Curve, Leicester); The Quiet Little Englishman (Zho Visual); Play Size (ATC/Young Vic); Bones (Bush Theatre); The Bogus WomanThe Lion the Witch & the WardrobeTo Kill a Mockingbird (Haymarket, Leicester); Entarete Musik (Amazonia Theatre Company); Lowdown High Notes (Red Ladder);Black Love (Black Arts Development Project); Caucasian Chalk Circle (Manchester Library).

Madani Younis took over as Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre in 2012. Last year, he was appointed to the Mayor of London’s Cultural Leadership Board to advise Sadiq Khan on issues facing the creative industries and culture sector and help him craft a bold new Culture Strategy for London.  In 2016 he directed the world premiere of Zaida and Aadam by Gbolahan Obisesan and revived 2015’s critically acclaimed production of The Royaleby Marco Ramirez. In 2013 he won the Groucho Club Maverick Award for the theatre, following the most successful season in the theatre’s history which played to 99% capacity. Also for the Bush Theatre he has directed Perseverance Drive and Chalet Lines. Prior to his appointment at the Bush Theatre, he was Artistic Director of Freedom Studios in Bradford, Yorkshire where his work included the site-specific work, The Mill – City of Dreams. He has also worked nationally and internationally as a theatre director, writer and practitioner. Whilst at Freedom Studios he collaborated with the Bush Theatre through workshops culminating in Freedom’s two-week residency in 2010 at the theatre. He was previously Director of Red Ladder Theatre Company’s Asian Theatre School. He originally trained in film, and his debut short film Ellabellapumpanella, commissioned by the UK Film Council, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2007. He was the recipient of the Decibel Award at the South Bank Awards show in 2006.

Designer Rosanna Vize trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.  She has worked regularly as an assistant to Anna Fleischle and was the resident design assistant for the RSC from September 2014 – September 2015.  She was a Linbury Prize Finalist in 2013 working with English Touring Opera and is currently one of the Jerwood Young Designers. Rosanna’s theatre work includes: King Lear (Shakespeare’s Globe, Dir: Nancy Meckler), The Earthworks & Myth (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Almighty Sometimes (Royal Exchange Manchester), Yous Two and The Phlebotomist(Hampstead Theatre), Henry I (Reading Between the Lines),  Girls (Soho Theatre, Hightide & Talawa Theatre), FUP (Kneehigh Theatre), Noye’s Fludde (Kneehigh Theatre), Dark Land Lighthouse (Bristol Old Vic), St Joan of the Stockyards (Bristol Old Vic), A Thousand Seasons Passed (Bristol Old Vic), The Tinder Box (Bristol Old Vic), The Last Days of Mankind (Bristol Old Vic), Talon (Bristol Old Vic), Diary of a Madman (The Gate Theatre), The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco (The Gate Theatre), Infinite Lives (Tobacco Factory Theatre), Banksy: The Room in the Elephant(Tobacco Factory Theatre and Traverse Theatre), Coastal Defences (Tobacco Factory Theatre) Edward Gants Amazing Feats of Loneliness (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School), The Wicked Lady (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School), The Picture of John Grey (The Old Red Lion), Measure for Measure (Oxford School of Drama).  Opera includes: Don Giovanni (Hampstead Garden Opera), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC & Garsington Opera).

BushGreen Live post-show events are free to ticket holders and will include

Post-Show Q&A: Wed 6 June

Ask cast and creatives about the creation and performance of Leave Taking after the show.

Misty

24 May – 30 June at 7.30pm

Wednesday matinees on 6, 13, 20, 27 June at 2.30pm

Saturday matinees on 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 June at 2.30pm

Audio described performance on Sat 9 June at 2.30pm

Captioned performance on Thurs 21 June at 7.30pm

 

Ticket prices

Count Me In: £10

Adult: From £20

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

Sell Out run of MISTY extends at Bush Theatre

Arinze Kené in Misty © Helen Murray
Arinze Kené in Misty © Helen Murray

Arinze Kené in Misty © Helen Murray

Due to ticket demand the current run of Misty written and performed by Arinzé Kene has been extended until 27 April with 60 more ‘Count Me In’ £10 tickets released.

Arinzé takes us on an epic, lyrical journey through the pulsating heart and dark soul of inner city London. An inventive blend of gig theatre, spoken word, live art and direct address, Misty which opened at the Bush Theatre on 15 March (press night 21 March) confronts the assumptions and expectations underpinning the act of telling a story.

Misty is directed by Bush Theatre Associate Director Omar Elerian (NASSIM, Islands) and features an original musical score performed live during the show.

‘Here is the city that we live in

Notice that the city that we live in is alive

Analyse our city and you’ll find that our city even has bodily features

Our city’s organs function like any living creature

Our city is a living creature

And if you’re wise enough, you’ll know not all of us are blood cells…

Some of us are viruses.’

Screen International UK Star of Tomorrow, actor and writer Arinzé Kene was raised in London to Nigerian parents. His most recent plays include good dog,which tiata fahodzi toured throughout the UK in 2017, God’s Property, a co-production with Talawa, which ran at Soho Theatre in 2013 and Little BabyJesus, directed by Che Walker at the Oval House Theatre, where his play Estate Walls was also produced. Arinzé was named ‘Most Promising Playwright’ at the Off West End Theatre Awards for Estate Walls in 2011, which was also nominated for Best New Play.

His original feature film, Seekers, is on the Brit List and currently in development. Arinzé was also involved in the development of the second series of Big Talk’s Youngers for E4, in which he played the part of Ashley.

On screen he appeared in new E4/Netflix Original series Crazyhead and took the lead of ‘Ade’ in the film The Pass opposite Russell Tovey for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 2016 BIFA’s and won the Best Supporting Actor award at the 2016 Evening Standard Film Awards. On stage he played soul singing legend Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami at the Donmar Warehouse and most recently appeared in the West End in Girl from The North Country. Next he takes the lead role opposite Michaela Cole in Netflix’s acquired feature film, Been So Long and in the BBC’s new thriller Informeropposite Paddy Considine.

Omar Elerian is an award-winning Italian / Palestinian theatre director, deviser and performer who trained at Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris.  He joined the Bush in 2012 alongside Madani Younis and since then has been the resident Associate Director.  His directing credits for the Bush include NASSIM by Nassim Soleimanpour, One Cold Night by Nancy Harris and Islands by Caroline Horton.  As Associate Director he has worked alongside Madani Younis on the Bush’s productions of The RoyalePerseverance Drive and Chalet Lines.  Other credits include acclaimed site-specific production The Mill – City of Dreams, Olivier Award-nominated You’re Not Like the Other Girls Chrissy, Testa di Rame (Italy), Les P’tites Grandes Choses (France) and L’Envers Du Décor (France).

Misty is the fourth theatre production Shiloh Coke has musically directed after having previously worked on the Donmar’s Shakespeare Trilogy (Julius CaesarHenry IV and The Tempest) for both stage and screen (including the New York transfer of The Tempest).

Shiloh’s acting stage credits include Into The Woods (Stratford Circus), Tomorrow’s World (Theatre Centre), The Litter (Bargehouse), Henry IV (Donmar Warehouse), The Chaplain (Yard Theatre), Henry IV (St Ann’s Warehouse NYC), The Tempest (Shakespeare Trilogy), Julius Caesar (Shakespeare Trilogy),Henry IV (Shakespeare Trilogy) and The Tempest (St Ann’s Warehouse NYC).

Musical Director and musician Adrian McLeod has worked with various artists such as Toddla T, Chronixx, Sway and Plan B.

Rajha Shakiry is a freelance theatre designer and maker, who works across the spectrum of scripted and devised theatre, dance, musical theatre, and opera. Born in Iraq and educated in England, Rajha’s work has most recently been exhibited at the V&A (Make:Believe, 2015) and as a finalist at World Stage Design 2013. Recent projects include: The Mountaintop (Young Vic/JMK), Mobile (The Paper Birds), The Head Wrap Diaries (Uchenna Dance) andMuhammad Ali & Me (Mojisola Adebayo). Rajha’s current collaborations include projects at the National Theatre, the Bush Theatre, and The Place.

Kirsty Housely is a theatre director, writer, dramaturg and an associate of Complicité. Work with Complicité includes: The Encounter (UK/International Tour – Co-Director), Seen and Not Heard (Southbank Centre), A Pacifists Guide to the War on Cancer (National Theatre – Dramaturg) and War and War (Pleasance). Other recent directing includes: The Believers Are But Brothers (Edinburgh Fringe and Bush Theatre); Wanted (Chris Goode and Company /Transform Festival/West Yorkshire Playhouse), Walking The Tightrope (Offstage andTheatre Uncut), All I Want (Live Theatre, Leeds Libraries and Jackson’s Lane) and Mass (Amy Mason / Bristol Old Vic / CPT). She is currently collaborating with Bryony Kimmings, Complicité, The Unicorn and the Bush Theatre.Her play Myth (written with Matt Hartley, from an original idea from Kirsty) was performed at the RSC in Spring 2017.

Sound Designer Elena Peña designed the sound for Hir by Taylor Mac and Islands by Caroline Horton at the Bush Theatre. Other theatre credits include: The Caretaker (Bristol Old Vic, Royal & Derngate); Pixel Dust and Wonder (Edinburgh Festival); The Bear/The ProposalFlashes (Young Vic); The Lounge (Soho Theatre – Offie Nomination For Best Sound Design); Boat (Company Three, Battersea Arts Centre); Years Of Sunlight (Theatre 503); Sleepless (Shoreditch Town Hall, Staatstheater Mainz); I Call My Brothers (Gate Theatre); Patrias (Sadlers Wells Theatre, Eif); Thebes Land, Brimstone And Treacle (Arcola Theatre); The Christians (Gate Theatre, Traverse Theatre); Brainstorm (ICT, National Theatre); The Kilburn PassionArabian Nights (Tricycle Theatre); Not Now Bernard (Unicorn Theatre); Pim & Theo (Nie With Odsherred Teater, Denmark, Unicorn Theatre); Mass Observation (Almeida Theatre); Village Social (National Theatre Wales); Quimeras (Sadlers Wells, Eif); The 13 Midnight Challenges Of Angelus Diablo (RSC); Gambling (Soho Theatre); My Name Is Sue (Soho Theatre, Bristol Old Vic); Under Milk Wood (Royal & Derngate).
Elena’s sound installation includes: Have Your Circumstances Changed? and Yes These Eyes Are The Windows (Artangel). Television/Online includes: Brainstorm Live at Television Centre (BBC4 and iPlayer); The Astro Science Challenge (Online Television Episodes, Unlimited Theatre). Radio includes: The Meet Cute (Recordist /Sd/Editor/Musician, BBC R4) Twelve Years (Recordist / SD / Editor, BBC R4).

Jackie Shemesh is a designer of lighting and space. He works internationally in dance, theatre, music and with performance and visual artists. Most recently he has designed for projects as part of Manchester International Festival 2017 (Yael Bartana – What if Women Ruled the World and Phil Collins –Ceremony); for new work by Ben Duke for Rambert Dance Company; and The Almeida’s productions of Robert Icke’s Mary Stuart and Uncle Vanya. Jackie has designed for many theatre productions in the UK including works for Lyric Hammersmith; Bristol Old Vic; Duchess theatre and Trafalgar Studios West End; The Young Vic; Bush Theatre; Curve Theatre, Leicester and more. Jackie has designed the lighting for many dance companies including Batsheva Ensemble, Ballet Boyz, Arthur Pita/Sadler’s Wells, National Dance Company Wales, Scottish Dance Theatre, CanDoCo, Protein and Avant Garde among others. Other collaborations around Europe include the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Steirischer Herbst Festival Austria and several productions for the Hebbel Theatre Berlin.

BushGreen Live post-show events are free to ticket holders –

Post-Show Q&A: Thu 12 April

Ask cast and creatives about the creation and performance of Misty.

Theatre Dialogue: Wed 18 April

Discuss the show with fellow audience members and independent producers Maddy Costa and Rhiannon Armstrong after the 7.30pm show. Free to ticket holders from any performance of Misty.

Misty

15 March – 27 April at 7.30pm

Wednesday matinees on 11 & 18 April at 2.30pm

Saturday matinees on 14 and 21 April at 2.30pm

Audio described performance on Sat 14 April at 2.30pm

Captioned performance on Thurs 19 April at 7.30pm

Age guidance – 14+, please note that strong language is used in this production

 

Ticket prices

Count Me In: £10

Adult: From £25

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

 

The Believers Are But Brothers at the Bush Theatre – enveloping the audience in a digital realm

TRANSFORM FESTIVAL 2017 Javaad Alipoor The Believers are but Brothers
TRANSFORM FESTIVAL 2017 Javaad Alipoor The Believers are but Brothers

Javaad Alipoor
The Believers are but Brothers
Credit: The Other Richard

Writer and theatre maker Javaad Alipoor presents his 2017 Scotsman Fringe First Award-winning play The Believers Are But Brothers at the Bush Theatre from 24 January (Press Night 26 January).  This morning the shows’ use of WhatsApp live group chat, putting technology at the core of the performance, has been shortlisted for The Stage newspaper’s Innovation Award.

We live in a time where old orders are collapsing: from the postcolonial nation states of the Middle East, to the EU and the American election. Through it all, tech savvy and extremist groups rip up political certainties.

Amidst this, a generation of young men find themselves burning with resentment, without the money, power and sex they think they deserve. This crisis of masculinity leads them into an online world where fantasy, violence and reality collide.

The Believers Are But Brothers envelops its audience in this digital realm, exploring the blurry and complex world of extremists, journalists and fantasists in an electronic maze of meme culture, 4chan, the alt-right and ISIS.   This bold one-man show weaves together their stories to reveal a vast web of resentment, violence and power just one click away.

Writer and performer, Javaad Alipoor, said ‘I’m really proud and excited to be bringing this show to the Bush, where it will sit within a season that reflects on the issues and voices shaping contemporary Britain.  It means a great deal to me to present my work at a theatre that is one of the historic engines of new writing in the UK, where a commitment to diversity goes beyond representation or deficit, and is so central to the amazing work that is being presented and made there.

As part of the performance, audiences will be invited to join a WhatsApp group for the show.  This is optional but will enhance the experience.  (After each show, the WhatsApp group if cleared and phone numbers deleted from the phones used by Front of House).

Both a Resident Associate Director at Sheffield Theatres, and Artistic Director of Northern Lines, Javaad Alipoor’s work comes from discussions and workshops with communities that don’t usually engage with mainstream theatre.  His previous work includes Orgreave: An English Civil War, about the Miners’ Strike and the Arab Spring and My Brother’s Country – about murdered Iranian pop icon Fereydoun Farrokhzad.

Co-director Kirsty Housley is an associate of Complicité, with whom her work includes: The Encounter (UK/International Tour – Co-Director), Seen and Not Heard (Southbank Centre), A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer (National Theatre – Dramaturg) and War and War (Pleasance). Other recent directing include: Wanted (Chris Goode and Company /Transform Festival/West Yorkshire Playhouse), Walking The Tightrope (Offstage and Theatre Uncut), All I Want (Live Theatre, Leeds Libraries and Jackson’s Lane) and Mass (Amy Mason / Bristol Old Vic / CPT). She is currently collaborating with Bryony Kimmings, Complicité, The Unicorn and the Bush Theatre. Her play Myth (written with Matt Hartley, from an original idea from Kirsty) opened at the RSC in Spring 2017.

Kirsty said, ‘In times of increasing political polarisation, where the way we communicate and the way we receive information is changing faster than we can keep pace with, we have tried to look at how these things are connected. How the way we communicate and the tools we use to interact with the world are in turn shaping the world we inhabit. Is there something about the internet that favours the extreme? What do we even mean by extremism? Believers creates different groups in different forms, and begins to nudge at what can only be said online, and what can only be said face to face.’

Dramaturg Chris Thorpe was a founder member of Unlimited Theatre and still works and tours with the company. He is also an Artistic Associate of live art/theatre company Third Angel. He has worked with, among others, Forest Fringe, Slung Low, Chris Goode, RashDash, Belarus Free Theatre and Portuguese experimental company mala voadora – his fourth piece for the company, Your Best Guess opened at Lisbon’s Almada festival in 2015. He also plays guitar in Lucy Ellinson’s political noise project #TORYCORE and works with the National Student Drama Festival.

Chris is an Associate at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. His play for the Exchange, There Has Possibly Been An Incident was selected by Simon Stephens for the Stuckemarktin Berlin, 2014.  It has been produced in Denmark and Sweden, on German radio, and is has been produced in Saarbrucken and Vienna, with more productions in the pipeline. He has an ongoing collaboration with director Rachel Chavkinfrom New York’s TEAM. Their first piece Confirmation, is currently touring internationally and they are starting to develop their next. His other main collaborator is poet Hannah Jane Walker with whom he made The Oh Fuck Moment and I Wish I Was Lonely.

Currently, Chris is touring Confirmation and Unlimited’s Am I Dead Yet? He is writing a new version of Beowulf for the Unicorn Theatre, and has written a new piece, Victory Condition, for the Royal Court which will be produced there in 2017. He recently wrote Chorus for The Iphegenia Quartet at The Gate Theatre. He is also working on The Mysteries for the Royal Exchange with Sam Pritchard, who directed There Has Possibly Been An Incident. His piece for director Rachel Bagshaw, The Shape of the Pain, is currently in development.

The texts for There Has Possibly Been An Incident and Confirmation, as well as work with Hannah Jane Walker, are published by Oberon Books. His work with mala voadora is published in English and Portuguese. Chris is the Arvon mentor for playwrighting, 2016/17 and one of the three Jerwood New Playwrights 2017 by the Royal Court Theatre.

Stage and lighting designer Ben Pacey designs sets, spaces, lighting and interactive environments and has made installations, animations, and written performance texts.  Ben’s designs include The Mostly Everything People’s Very Important Child; Greg Wohead’s Comeback SpecialAdventures of the Little Ghost for Sophie Nüzel; Kiln Ensemble’s A Journey Around My Skull; Melanie Wilson’s Landscape II (co-design).  Lighting includes Sleepdogs’ Dark Land Light HouseThrive for Zest Theatre; Leila McMillan’s Family Portrait; Uninvited Guests’ This Last Tempest and Make Better Please; Kiln Ensemble’s The Furies; and Melanie Wilson’s Autobiographer.  As an artist/maker, he co-directs Dens & Signals (Feast of the Dead, The Wake, A Thousand Shards of Glass). He’s an associate artist of Coney.

Simon McCrorry has been making music and creating sound design for theatre and film for over 15 years, working with theatre companies including Headlong, Old Vic Productions, Tiata Fahodzi, Theatre Hullabaloo & Cirque Bijou. His Sound design and music for theatre credits include: The Hotel Cerise (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Ceirw – Savage Hart(Citrus Arts); Solaris (Štátne Divadlo Košice); Vincent River (Old Vic Productions); Joe Guy (Tiata Fahodzi); Iye Ile (Tiata Fahodzi); Boi Boi Is Dead (Tiata Fahodzi & West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Winters’ Tale (Headlong & Schtanhaus); Blue Orange (Tiata Fahodzi); Guantanamo Boy (Brolly Productions); Bacchic (Actors of Dionysus); Lemn Sissay’s Why I Don’t Hate White PeopleLittle Red Riding HoodRapunzel (Liverpool Everyman); Breeze(Kolesk Dance).  Film credits include: May You Never Die(dir Guy Davies), Emily (dir Guy Davies), Tracker (dir Matthew McGuchan), Sick To My Bones (dir Guy Davies), One Day (dir James Barriscale), Beauty and Brains (dir Catherine Donaldson), The Surroundings and Its Bearings (dir Ambrose Yalley).

Video designer Adam Radolinski has spent last six years working as a Creative Producer. During this time he has developed, produced and delivered over a hundred video for a social media platforms – advertising, fashion videos, content video, corporate, creative and music videos, for diverse clients in many countries, including worldwide brands. He is developing artistic projects of multimedia and visual-art for exhibitions and theatre’s plays in UK, Italy, Poland and UAE.

Video designer Jack Offord has created imagery and projection design for a diverse range of shows including The Rest of Your Life (Bush Theatre), The Light Princess (Tobacco Factory Theatres), site-specific piece The Stick House (Raucous), Wulf (Bristol Old Vic Ferment), Educating Rita (Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse) and a raft of Bristol Old Vic shows including MessiahTalon, and Pigeon English.

The Believers Are But Brothers

24 Jan – 10 Feb at 7.30pm

Wednesday matinees on 31 Jan and 7 Feb at 2.30pm

Saturday matinees on 3 & 10 Feb at 2.30pm

Audio described performance on Sat 3 Feb at 2.30pm

 

Ticket prices

 

Count Me In: £10

Adult: From £20

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

 

The Bush Theatre is generously supported by Arts Council England.