Stars' Support Saves the Bush

Arts Council to maintain funding for local theatre

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Shepherd's Bush Web Site

The campaign to save the Bush Theatre is celebrating the news that the Arts Council has decided not to axe the funding it receives.

A statement from the theatre said, "Thanks to your incredible support, The Bush Theatre has retained its funding. The groundswell of support from the industry, our audiences and the community at large has been overwhelming and we are delighted with this announcement from Arts Council England."

However, they stressed there was a need to avoid complacency as their remain concerns about the theatre building.

Well known stars of film and theatre including Daniel Radcliffe, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters joined the campaign to save the critically acclaimed theatre. The £180,000 reduction in grant would have crippled the theatre. It represented a drop in funding of around 40 per cent annually for the theatre, which is located on the corner of Shepherd's 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 young playwrights can hope to see their writing reach the stage.

Actor Jonathan Pryce said: "I can think of few theatres that have produced such consistently excellent shows as the Bush has."

February 7, 2008