Moving to other venues while building closes for major facelift
The Bush Theatre is about to 'break out' into other local venues, including Bush Hall and churches, pubs and even laundrettes while the theatre itself gets a major facelift.
Work on the theatre, housed in the former Shepherd's Bush Library on Uxbridge Road will include a new conservatory running alongside the courtyard, with a new entrance greeting visitors as they exit the tube station.
A new lift will provide better accessibility for visitors in wheelchairs and for its artists, there will be new dressing rooms, studio and an expanded rehearsal room. For staff the office will also be expanded.
Those behind the project hope it will enable the venue to better reflect, connect with and pay homage to its community.
Funding for the works has reached 90% and has been supported by Hammersmith & Fulham Council and Arts Council England.
While the expansion works are underway, the theatre will host shows at various venues including a European premiere of Boys Will
Be Boys at Bush Hall, The Royale at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill.
This Place We Know will feature a series of plays performed at venues along the Uxbridge Road, including churches, pubs and laundrettes.
At a launch event last week, artistic director Madani Younis introduced the ‘Bush Breaks Out’ plans, which he hoped would prevent the fear that theatre would become ‘the domain of a chosen few’.
“2016 will be such a landmark for us,” he said. “Many theatres in this country don’t reflect the culture of this country. This city is changing and so this theatre must too.”
Madani said that despite the former Shepherd's Bush Library having served as a good home to date, it was time to expand and make better use of the available space and bring the venue closer to the community in which it resides.
At launch event, Steve Tompkins of architect firm, Howarth Tompkins which helped the Bush when it first moved into the old library, spoke of his brief for the expansion project.
He said: “How can the building become more porous to the city, to the extraordinarily diverse community in which it lives?”
“This is a very exciting time for the Bush Theatre and we’re delighted to be supporting them as they embark on this ground-breaking venture,” said Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration.
“This will be a huge boost to the arts and culture in Shepherds Bush and beyond.”
"This is a very exciting time for the Bush Theatre and we're delighted to be supporting them as they embark on this ground-breaking venture," said Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration. "This will be a huge boost to the arts and culture in Shepherds Bush and beyond."
The work is due to begin in mid-April and should be completed by early 2017 and is hoped will generate 15,000 more visitors per year.
Tickets for Boys Will Be Boys and The Royale are available now.
March 7, 2016