Calls Grow to Save the Bush

Stars sign petition to save iconic theatre in W12

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Thespians & Theatre Lovers Cry Foul Over Arts Council Cuts

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Well known stars of film and TV have joined the campaign to save the critically acclaimed Bush Theatre

Daniel Radcliffe, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters have joined the campaign to save the Bush Theatre from a grant cut which threatens its future.

They are among more than 150 actors and directors publicly backing the tiny west London venue's fight against Arts Council England's proposal to reduce its funding by £180,000.

This represents a drop in funding of around 40per cent annually for the  Bush Theatre, which is located on the corner of Shepherds Bush Green and Goldhawk Road. 

The tiny 81-seat theatre has seen actors such as John Simm treading the boards last spring, while some of Britain's best-known playwrights, including Stephen Poliakoff and Conor McPherson, have premiered work here.

With two full-time members of staff dedicated to wading through the 1,500 unsolicited manuscripts the theatre receives every year, the Bush is one of the few theatres in the country where youngplaywrights can hope to see their writing reach the stage.

If the cut is implemented it would "seriously diminish" the Bush's capacity to do its work and serve audiences, the supporters say.

The importance of writers to the film world is acknowledged by figures such as Kevin Loader, the producer of Enduring Love and the forthcoming Brideshead Revisited.

The letter says: "If British plays and playwrights are to continue to be the envy of the world, they must be supported and championed in this country. London needs a small and properly funded new writing theatre dedicated to discovering new writers and producing new plays."

Simon Callow said: "To destroy [the Bush] like this is an act of wanton vandalism."
Jonathan Pryce added: "I can think of few theatres that have produced such consistently excellent shows as the Bush has."

The Arts Council plans to cut more than a fifth of bodies it funds while increasing grants to others to promote excellence and innovation.

Open Letter from Bush Theatre Supporters
We the undersigned, as supporters of The Bush Theatre, ask Arts Council England to reconsider their proposal to reduce funding to The Bush Theatre. The Bush is a unique and vital force in the development of new plays and playwrights in this country. For thirty-five years it has played a leading role in identifying new talent, developing new plays and producing new work that questions and defines contemporary Britain and our changing world. Last year, over a hundred thousand people saw a Bush production – that success is built upon The Bush Theatre's experienced support and nurturing of playwrights, actors and directors. If British plays and playwrights are to continue to be the envy of the world, they must be supported and championed in this country. London needs a small and properly funded new writing theatre dedicated to discovering new writers and producing new plays. We urge you to reconsider your commitment to playwrights, theatre practitioners and future audiences by allowing The Bush Theatre to thrive, not just survive.

Will Adamsdale
Bill Alexander
Michael Attenborough
Tristan Baker
David Bamber
Frances Barber
Patrick Barlow
Samuel Barnett
Desmond Barrit
Ian Barritt
Neil Bartlett
Robert Bathurst
Helen Baxendale
Paul Bettany
Brenda Blethyn
Sebastian Born
Bette Bourne
Adrian Bower
Mike Bradwell
Ewen Bremner
Jim Broadbent
Ian Brown
John Burgess
Kathy Burke
Matthew Byam Shaw
Simon Callow CBE
Ken Campbell
Anna Chancellor
Debbie Chazen
Michael Codron CBE
Jeremy Conway
Annette Crosbie
John Crowley
Bob Crowley
Niamh Cusack
Charles Dance
Phil Daniels
Peter Darling
Frances de la Tour
Paola Dionisotti
Dominic Dromgoole
Lindsay Duncan
Sue Dunderdale
Chris Eccleston
Rupert Evans
Sir Richard Eyre CBE
Michael Feast
Vicky Featherstone

Deborah Findlay
Kevin Fitzmaurice
Sarah Frankcom
Nick Frankfort
Aidan Gillen
Philip Glenister
John Gordon-Sinclair
Burn Gorman
Rupert Graves
Marcia Gresham
Sheila Hancock OBE
John Hannah
Tamara Harvey
Philip Hedley CBE
Douglas Henshall
Nicky Henson
Jeremy Herrin
Patricia Hodge
Jane Horrocks
Bob Hoskins
Angus Jackson
Geraldine James OBE
Terry Johnson
Richard Johnson
Gemma Jones
Paterson Joseph
Edward Kemp
Nicolas Kent
Alex Kingston
James Laurenson
Denis Lawson
Stewart Lee
Robin Lefevre
Mike Leigh OBE
John Light
Kevin Loader
Michael Lynas
Steven Mackintosh
Anna Mackmin
Lesley Manville
Miriam Margoyles
Kika Markham
Sean Mathias
Nicholas McAuliffe
Paul McGann
Tim McInnerny
Sir Ian McKellen CH, CBE
Katherine Mendelsohn
Paul Miller
Jonny Lee Miller
Cillian Murphy
James Nesbitt
Rufus Norris
David Oyelowo
Kate Pakenham
Katherine Parkinson
Bill Patterson
Tim Piggot-Smith
Nigel Planer
Andre Ptaszynski
Richard Pulford
Alan Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe
Corin Redgrave
Jemma Redgrave
Alan Rickman
Fay Ripley
Tim Roth
Mark Rubenstein
Michael Rudman
Jenna Russell
Mark Rylance
Nick Salmon
Jeremy Sams
Prunella Scales
Nicola Shindler
John Shrapnel
Ian Shuttleworth
Roxana Silbert
John Simm
Michael Simkins
Malcolm Sinclair
Mel Smith
Robin Soans
Rosemary Squire OBE
Nick Starr
Ken Stott
Neil Stuke
Donald Sumpter
Polly Teale
David Threlfall
John Tiffany
Stephen Tompkinson
Jenny Topper
Gary Waldhorn
Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen
Julie Walters CBE
Marcia Warren
Jason Watkins
Kenny Wax
Samuel West
Joanne Whalley
Kevin Whately
Erica Whyman
Tom Wilkinson OBE
Richard Wilson OBE
Carol Winter
Dinah Wood
Tim Woodward
Jenny Worton

Emma Midgley


January 18, 2008