Masterclasses and community engagement at the Bush Theatre.
The Bush Theatre opened in 1972 above a pub on the Goldhawk Road, later moving to the old library building on Uxbridge Road. After a year-long £4.3 million renovation by architects Haworth Tompkins, it reopened in March 2017. Now internationally renowned ‘new writing powerhouse whose size belies its influence’ (Financial Times).
It was awarded ‘Best London Theatre’ by The Stage in 2019. Recent successes include Arinzé Kene’s Misty, which transferred to the West End, Jellyfish, Ben Weatherill’s love story about a young woman with Down’s Syndrome which transferred to the National Theatre and a re-imagining of Jackie Kay’s 1986 masterpiece, Chiaroscuro, directed by the theatre’s Artistic Director Lynette Linton.
The Bush operates in one of the most culturally diverse areas of London, the Bush has a commitment to its local community and the wider artistic community braiding these two strands of work together to produce an engaging and challenging programme which reflects the world we live in.
After months in the dark as a result of Covid19, I am really delighted that the Bush reopened their building to the public on 6 August. This is In line with current government advice and social distancing measures will be in place and new interim opening times.
Initially, they are opening their Library Bar and Café, serving food and drinks so that the locals can come back and enjoy the space and sit out on their terrace and soak in the hubbub of Shepherds Bush Market and the Uxbridge Road again. The Bush theatre is such an integral part of the local community, so it’s great they are back! The Bush are celebrated for their work within the community and this summer is no different, they will be running a series of activities for young people, aspiring theatre-makers and local residents.
Artistic Director Lynette Linton said: ‘At the Bush, the community comes first. As we journey out of this crisis we are bringing our local communities and our family of artists with us. We are opening our building to support them through the summer and when we can put shows on in our theatres again they will be stories that are as bold, electrifying, and diverse as the city we live in.’
17 – 21 August Led by Artistic Director, Lynette Linton and Associate Director, Daniel Bailey, the Bush Theatre presents a week-long crash course in theatre for 14-17-year-olds who are West London residents, which will be run in accordance with the current government guidelines. Aimed at theatre beginners, participants will take part in fun and creative workshops on storytelling, acting for stage, creative writing, dance, and more. More details on the Summer Project and application process can be found on the Bush website.
Following the success of the Bush’s 10 Minute Masterclasses during Lockdown, the venue is launching four new masterclasses streamed live from the Bush Theatre’ Holloway Theatre. The masterclasses will offer an insight into theatre by leading practitioners including actor and Senior Artistic Associate of the Bush Theatre, Adjoa Andoh, writer, and director Rikki Beadle-Blair, writer Jonathan Harvey and director Anna Himali Howard. With participants joining via Zoom, the sessions will develop skills in writing, directing, and performance for all levels. Tickets are on sale online today, priced at £20. There are a limited number of bursary places available.
Monday 24 August, 2.30 pm-5.30 pm Anna Himali Howard: Directing new writing Tickets £20 How do you work with a writer to bring their new script to life? Director and theatre maker Anna Himali Howard will take you through her tried and tested approaches to directing new writing and collaborating with writers, using Zia Ahmed’s critically acclaimed I Wanna Be Yours, which she directed at the Bush Theatre in November 2019, as a focus point.
Tuesday 1 September, 5 pm-6.30 pm On Playwriting: Q&A with Jonathan Harvey Tickets £20 Since penning the hit play Beautiful Thing, which premiered at the Bush Theatre, Jonathan Harvey has become one of the UK’s best-loved writers, creating BAFTA-nominated sit-com Gimme Gimme Gimme and writing some of Coronation Street’s most gripping episodes. Jonathan will be joining Lynette Linton to discuss his playwriting process, share advice on navigating the theatre and television industries, and answer questions from audience members.
Friday 11 September, 5 pm-7 pm Rikki Beadle-Blair: How to have a creative career Tickets £20 Join Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE for a fun, butt-kicking workshop to give you everything you need to take control of your creative working life. A writer, director, composer, choreographer, designer, producer, and performer, Rikki has mentored a great many creatives including Noel Clarke, Joe Cole, Somalia Seaton, Tom Wright, Alexis Gregory, and Bush Theatre Artistic Director Lynette Linton. He has won several awards including the Sony Award, the Los Angeles Outfest Screenwriting, and Outstanding Achievement awards.
Monday 21 September, 2 pm-5 pm Approaching unfamiliar texts with Adjoa Andoh Tickets £20 You’ve got a last-minute audition. You’re reading in for someone. You start rehearsals soon and you want to get prepped How do we prepare for unfamiliar texts? Take an afternoon with Adjoa Andoh to work through a variety of texts and try out some practical approaches. Adjoa Andoh is a film, television and theatre actor and director. She recently co-directed and starred in Richard II at The Globe and has extensive experience in theatre with the RSC, the Bush (Leave Taking), Young Vic, and at the National Theatre. Upcoming projects include Bridgerton (Netflix).
PARTNERSHIPS TO OPEN UP THE BUILDING TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Through this time the Bush Theatre is supporting local community partners that the venue has developed relationships with over a number of years.
WHITE CITY YOUTH THEATRE
The White City Youth Theatre has had a longstanding presence in the community since 2008 and has established a supportive, friendly, and creative hub for local young people aged 9-24 years. Through drama, participants learn new skills, establish friendships across neighbourhood schools, and create theatre which enhances their social and personal development.
The Bush is delivering an online project with the senior group at Associate Young Company White City Youth Theatre, with the aim of creating a bespoke radio play. A group of young people have been working on-line via Zoom sessions during July and August with playwright Sharon Kanolik, they have been developing their ideas which Sharon is using to write her play. The radio play will be workshopped and recorded in August and early September. This is a very exciting opportunity for members of the White City Youth Theatre who have never made a radio play before.
SHEPHERD’S BUSH FAMILIES PROJECT
Shepherd’s Bush Families Project has been operating at the heart of the local Shepherd’s Bush community since 1988. They aim to help families who are homeless or suffering social and economic hardship in the Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.
Shepherd’s Bush Families Project will be hosting children and young people from their service at the Bush Theatre to support their holiday provision for young people. The theatre will work with Shepherd’s Bush Families Project to host 8 sessions for children and young people in August, as well as facilitating additional sessions for children in Year 5 – Year 7 to support them to express their feelings through creative activities.
Bush Theatre will also be hosting English language classes for adult participants. The Bush will also be collecting donations of Afro-Caribbean food products and clothing basics for Nubian Life and Barons Court Project’s Women’s Group and creating creative care kits for participants.
LIBRARY BAR REOPENING
The popular Library Bar is also reopening to serve craft beers, bespoke cocktails, and nibbles. Visitors can nestle among the bookshelves of the Gianni and Michael Alen-Buckley Script Library with a cup of tea, chat with friends in the bar, or enjoy watching the world of Shepherd’s Bush go by from the outdoor terrace. More details on the bar offer and how to book a table can be found on the Bush website. Booking ahead is encouraged to avoid disappointment.
WRITE THE BUSH’S FUTURE
Beyond reopening the building and launching these summer projects, the Bush team continues to read scripts, meet with writers, care for the creative needs of its community and dream up big projects for the future. But in the current climate, where the venue has lost 40% of its income which would normally come from ticket sales, the Bush needs support more than ever to ensure its future. For this reason, the venue is launching the ‘Write the Bush’s Future’ campaign which gives people a chance to join the Bush Supporter community from as little as £60.
The money raised by this group of very special donors will give the artistic team, writers, and emerging artists the time and space to create the innovative, groundbreaking theatre for which the Bush is internationally famous. One day we will perform to audiences again but while we wait for that we need help to Write the Bush’s Future.
7 Uxbridge Rd,
London W12 8LJ Phone; 020 8743 5050