Bush Theatre announces 2019 season – The New Face of Theatre

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



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


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


By Eve Leigh

Directed by Roy Alexander Weise


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


by Estelle Savasta

Translated by Kirsten Hazel Smith

Directed by Omar Elerian


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


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


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


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


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


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:


Applications should be emailed to hollysmith@bushtheatre.co.uk

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.


Phone                   020 8743 5050

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

Online                  bushtheatre.co.uk