The Bush Theatre is Back This Weekend

Throwing open its doors from midday on Saturday after year long revamp

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This weekend sees the long awaited reopening of the Bush Theatre after being closed for a year long £4.3m revamp.

The theatre in Uxbridge Road has been refurbished to transform the old library space into a fully accessible, modernised cultural building.

The new more sustainable venue, created by architects Haworth Tompkins, features an entirely accessible new entrance, new front-of-house area and exterior garden terrace. It features a new studio space and rehearsal room that will together allow over 50% increase in produced, co-produced and commissioned productions.

The theatre will throw open its doors from midday on Saturday 18 March, with free tea and coffee all day. Loca people invited to explore the new theatre with free Building Tours throughout the afternoon and during the following week. The Library Bar (with free wifi) will be open as usual from this time for people chill or hang out. Normal opening times from Mon 20 Mar will be 10am-11pm (Mon-Sat).

Then from 18-25 March there will be a week-long celebration called Making Space, which reflects the Bush’s wider ambition for the future. The theatre promises a week long celebration – an extended housewarming – including Black Lives, Black Words, a series of short plays, part of an international project, musing on the question: "Do black lives matter today?" plus music, poetry, spoken word, a reading group and talks.

Artistic Director Madani Younis said: "Following this landmark capital project, we couldn't be more excited to re-open our building to the world. We’re looking forward to welcoming audiences old and new to this incredible space.

"It was important to me that we re-open with a week of celebrations that embrace the diversity of the world we live in. Black Lives, Black Words is a bold statement about one of the most important movements of our time: #BlackLivesMatter."

You can find full details of the week's events here.

It will be followed by:

Guards at the Taj (7 April – 20 May) by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph, will receive its European premiere directed by Jamie Lloyd, who makes his Bush directorial debut.  The production won the Obie Award for Best New American Play and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play when it premiered at the Atlantic Theater in New York.  

This will be followed by the European premiere of Hir (15 June – 22 July) by Taylor Mac, an artist and writer whose performance launched this year’s LIFT Festival and whose recent 24-Decade History of Popular Music put him at the forefront of alternative responses to American culture. The production will be directed by Nadia Fall, who returns to the Bush following the acclaimed Disgraced. 

Then in the autumn, the Bush Theatre commission Of Kith and Kin (18 October – 25 November) by Chris Thompson, last at the Bush with Albion, will be presented in co-production with Sheffield Theatres and directed by Sheffield Theatres’ new Artistic Director Robert Hastie.

Alongside this, the Bush is announcing the first season of work in its new space, the Studio. This 70-seat theatre will serve to increase the artistic output of the Bush Theatre, and provide a new generation of emerging writers and artists with a flexible, intimate space to create and showcase the best in new writing.

The first season will feature three world premieres. Up in Arms duo, writer Barney Norris and director Alice Hamilton, collaborate once again after the success of Visitors and Eventide with Norris’ new play While We’re Here (26 April – 27 May). This is a co-production between the Bush Theatre, Up in Arms and Farnham Maltings. 

Nassim Soleimanpour returns to the Bush with new play Nassim (24 – 29 July) following his globally acclaimed White Rabbit Red Rabbit, which has been translated into 15 different languages and performed over 200 times by artists including Sinead Cusack, Ken Loach and Whoopi Goldberg. Directed by Bush Associate Director Omar Elerian, Nassim will feature the playwright himself. 

Sophie Wu (Kick Ass, Fresh Meat) will be the first graduate of the Bush’s Emerging Writers’ Group, which launched in 2015, to have a full commission produced at the Bush, with the premiere of Ramona Tells Jim (18 September – 21 October). 

The Bush has also launched a new talent development strategy designed to revolutionise the diversity and quality of artists and artistic leadership in the UK. From 2017, a new cohort of artists will become part of the fabric of the Bush.

This includes three Associate Artists on attachment to the Studio: Milk Presents, Deafinitely Theatre and ANTLER. They will work alongside three Project 2036 practitioners - a programme that will offer a Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) playwright, director and producer a £10,000 bursary each year.

Supported by the Leverhulme Trust, the first intake of artists is: Alison Holder (Producer), Rikki Henry (Director) and Hannah Khalil (Playwright). These artists join the previously announced Emerging Writers’ Group (EWG).


March 17, 2017