BUSH THEATRE’S AUTUMN WINTER SEASON INCLUDES:
- A retrospective of work by internationally acclaimed Iranian theatre-maker Nassim Soleimanpour, featuring three previous works and a brand new play commissioned by the Bush Theatre.
- A season of international stories, featuring over 10 new works, from Muslim women both at home and abroad entitled Hijabi Monologues.
- Previously announced new plays by Sophie Wu (Ramona Tells Jim) and Chris Thompson (Of Kith and Kin).
- A new play by Thomas Eccleshare entitled Heather in a production with Dancing Brick, Paul Jellis and Tobacco Factory Theatres.
- The Bruntwood Prize judges award winning Parliament Square by James Fritz in a co-production with Royal Exchange Theatre.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR MADANI YOUNIS INTRODUCES THE NEW SEASON OF WORK FOR AUTUMN WINTER 2017:
- ‘As ever at the Bush Theatre, we continue to seek powerful plays that respond to the urgency of the world around us. London is still reverberating from events that have made us question what community is and what our city means to us. As such, this building continues to speak up for the unheard and celebrate their voices. This year we have brought international movements into our local community with the powerful Black Lives, Black Words back in March and the upcoming Hijabi Monologues. The latter will feature over 10 new works gathered from Muslim women both locally in Shepherd’s Bush and further afield from different parts of the world.’
Ramona Tells Jim
Written by Sophie Wu
Directed by Mel Hillyard
Designed by Lucy Sierra
Bush Theatre Studio
20 September – 21 October 2017
Press Night 22 September 2017
It’s 1998. Ramona, of Englandshire, is 15 and she’s totally cool. Honestly. She’s completely cool.
On a wet, midge-riddled geography field trip she meets Jim, a local laddie wearing an anti-pill fleece. He’s obsessed with hermit crabs, rock erosion and making homemade Irn-Bru cocktails.
Deep in the Scottish Highlands, Ramona falls for Jimmy’s awkward charm but gets caught in a scandal that will haunt them both for years to come.
Fast forward fifteen years and Jim, of the shittest village in Scotland, has got a girlfriend and something like a functional life. But Ramona still can’t shake the consequences of that fateful trip. Determined to clear her conscience, she heads back to the Highlands to find that neither her nor Jim’s lives have turned out how they had planned.
Ramona Tells Jim is a darkly comic play about confession and the gravity of young love, from Bush Theatre Emerging Writers’ Group graduate and actor Sophie Wu (Kick Ass, Wild Child), directed by Mel Hillyard and designed by Lucy Sierra.
Supported by Peter Wolff Theatre Trust.
Written by Nassim Soleimanpour
7 – 16 September 2017
In a celebration of his work, the Bush Theatre brings together all four of Iranian theatre-maker Nassim Soleimanpour’s plays.
These will include the self-titled Nassim, commissioned by the Bush Theatre, directed by Omar Elerian and designed by Rhys Jarman; international hit White Rabbit Red Rabbit, presented by Aurora Nova; Blank (Bush Theatre’s RADAR 2015 and Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016), presented by Aurora Nova; and the UK premiere of new play Cook, co-created by Nassim Soleimanpour and the Danish director Jesper Pedersen. All four plays will play in repertory over a week.
This retrospective will follow a run of Nassim at the Traverse Theatre as part of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Soleimanpour’s work is unique in that it requires no rehearsals, no preparation. Just a sealed envelope and a different actor each night reading a script for the first time.
A licensed production of Hijabi Monologues USA
Directed by Milli Bhatia
28 – 30 September 2017
Hijabi Monologues London is part of an international project focusing on the real-life experiences of both local and international Muslim women. In a similar style to Black Lives, Black Words at the Bush Theatre earlier this year, Hijabi Monologues features interweaving stories from our doorstep as well as experiences of Muslim women in other parts of the world.
Directed by Milli Bhatia, the evening will include existing monologues penned for this international project by women including the original writer Sahar Ullah and new works from members of the Bush Theatre’s immediate community totalling over 10 UK premieres. Experience the diverse stories of Muslim women from all over the world – unfiltered and uncensored.
Supported by Amal – A Said Foundation Project, British Council and Safera Foundation.
Dancing Brick and Paul Jellis in association with Tobacco Factory Theatres and the Bush Theatre
Written by Thomas Eccleshare
Directed by Valentina Ceschi
Designed by Lily Arnold
Bush Theatre Studio
31 October – 18 November 2017
Press Night 2 November 2017
A reclusive children’s writer becomes wildly successful. Her books are treasured across the country. But when a troubling narrative starts to unfold, we find ourselves asking: what matters more, the storyteller or the story?
Brilliantly imaginative and theatrically original, Heather is a short, sharp story about language, prejudice and the power of stories. The cast will include Ashley Gerlach and Charlotte Melia.
Thomas Eccleshare is the Verity Bargate Award-winning writer of Pastoral and the co-artistic director of Arches Brick Award winning company Dancing Brick. Heather will be directed by Valentina Ceschi and designed by Lily Arnold.
A co-production with Sheffield Theatres
Of Kith and Kin
Written by Chris Thompson
Directed by Robert Hastie
Designed by James Perkins
18 October – 25 November 2017
Press Night 20 October, 7pm
Daniel and Oliver are about to have their first baby. With their best friend, Priya, acting as surrogate, they’ve turned the study into a nursery and the bottles are sterilised. All that’s missing is the bundle of joy they’ve been pining for.
But when Daniel’s chaotic mother gatecrashes the baby shower with a few home truths, the cracks in Daniel and Oliver’s relationship begin to show. Are they as ready for this as they think they are? And more importantly, is Priya?
Sheffield Theatres Artistic Director Robert Hastie (My Night With Reg, Splendour) directs this gripping new comedy by Chris Thompson (Albion). The pair previously collaborated on Carthage at the Finborough Theatre. Of Kith and Kin will be designed by James Perkins, with lighting by Prema Mehta, sound by Ella Wahlström and casting by Vicky Richardson.
Of Kith and Kin opens at Sheffield Studio Theatre on 15 September with a press night on 19 September.
A co-production with Royal Exchange Theatre
Written by James Fritz
Directed by Jude Christian
Designed by Fly Davies
30 November 2017 – 6 January 2018
Press Night 1 December 2017
How far would you go for what you believe in?
Kat gets up one morning, leaves her family behind and travels to London to carry out an act that will change her life and, she hopes, everyone else’s. For those it touches, their lives will never be the same. But what, in the end, are the real consequences of her actions?
Raw, disturbing and compassionate, James Fritz‘s searingly powerful play forces a confrontation with some of the most urgent questions we face. What can one individual do to effect change? And where do we choose to draw the line between absolute commitment and dangerous obsession?
Parliament Square won the Judges’ Award in the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and will be directed by Jude Christian whose credits include Lela and Co and Bodies both at the Royal Court.
EMERGING WRITERS’ GROUP
In June 2017, the Bush Theatre’s Emerging Writers’ Group (EWG) will enter its third year with a new intake of six writers.Sophie Wu, a graduate of the first EWG, will premiere her play at the Bush Theatre this September. Five out of the twelve EWG graduates have received commissions or ongoing support from the Bush. The new intake of writers for 2016 is: Robyn Addison, Afsaneh Gray, Kelly Jones, Isley Lynn, Eno Mfon and Tom Wentworth.
The Bush Theatre also announces today the artists taking part in UP NEXT, a new development programme to champion the next generation of visionary BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) leaders and artists, in partnership with Artistic Directors of the Future and Battersea Arts Centre. Tobi Kyeremateng, Sita Thomas, Ruthie Osterman (all Bush Theatre), Lekan Lawal, Tarek Iskander and Saad Eddine Said (Battersea Arts Centre) will be handed the keys to both the Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre in early 2019. Arts Council England’s Sustained Theatre Fund supports the initiative.