Bush Theatre announces Spring 2024 Season

Last Updated on 12th September 2023

Bush Theatre announces its Spring 2024 Season containing new commissions and the return of popular writers and directors.

Bush Theatre

Bush Theatre has announced productions for the first half of 2024 with a focus on new writing and reaffirming its dedication to talent development and community engagement.

In the theatre’s main house, the Holloway Theatre, Doctor Who’s Tosin Cole stars in Shifters, the second play from Susan Smith Blackburn Prize winner Benedict Lombe (Lava).  Olivier Award winner Bijan Sheibani returns with The Cord following the success of his 2019 playwriting debut The Arrival.  In the studio, Kwame Owusu’s Mustapha Matura Award-winning play Dreaming and Drowning premieres followed by Sophia Chetin-Leuner’s unflinching NHS drama This Might Not Be It.  Also announced today is a new Friends scheme, a partnership between the Bush and the Carers Network, and a new cohort for the theatre’s 18-25 Young Company.


16 February – 30 March 2024
Written by Benedict Lombe
Directed by Lynette Linton

“It’s only in looking back that I realise we were always in motion, always morphing, always shifting. Weren’t we?”

Des and Dre. Destiny and Dream.

Young. Gifted. Black.

Rivals. Friends. Lovers.

She left. He stayed.

Now, tragedy brings Des and Dre crashing back into each other’s lives, carrying new secrets and old scars. Caught in the space between memory and reality, they must struggle to navigate the shifting borders that threaten to rewrite their past and reshape their future.

A fierce romance for anyone desperate for a different kind of love story, Shifters is a tribute to the enduring power and fragility of memory and love.

Starring Tosin Cole (Doctor Who), this surprising and playful world premiere is a new Bush Theatre commission written by Benedict Lombe (Lava, winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Playwriting) and directed by Bush Theatre Artistic Director, Lynette Linton (August in England, Clyde’s).

The Cord
12 April – 25 May 2024
Written and directed by Bijan Sheibani

“Sometimes when I look at him, I feel like he’s me.

But if the baby is me, then who am I? You?”

The arrival of this baby has changed everything.

Amir hovers as his mother holds her grandchild for the first time, mesmerised. The bag of handmade baby clothes she’s brought lies at her feet.

After she leaves, Amir watches his wife feeding their newborn son, so close, almost intertwined. They look so complete, while Amir feels aware of a growing chasm separating him from them, and him from his own mother.

As sleepless nights, relentless crying and hushed arguments take their toll, Amir grapples with the puzzle of how to be a father, a son, a husband – mashing together pieces that don’t seem to fit. All he knows is he’s determined not to repeat the past.

The Cord is an intensely frank and relatable insight into the challenges of being a parent and a child, no matter how old you are. This evocative new play reunites Olivier award-winning writer and director Bijan Sheibani (Barber Shop Chronicles) with the team behind his 2019 Bush Theatre hit, The Arrival. Cast includes Irfan Shamji (The Arrival, Chasing Hares) as Amir.

In The Bush Studio

Dreaming and Drowning
28 November – 23 December 2023
Written and Directed by Kwame Owusu

“I had that dream again. Drowning and gasping but I’m trying not to think about it.”

Malachi’s been looking forward to a fresh start at uni for months. He’s settling in, he’s got a stack of books to read and he’s met someone new – Kojo, a musician with a megawatt smile, who’s basically perfect.

But something doesn’t feel right. He keeps having the same nightmare – sinking, crushed by the weight of the ocean – and it’s getting worse… A beast grows in the water, hungry, relentless, hunting him but always just out of sight. As the boundaries between nightmare and reality fracture, Malachi must fight harder than ever to stay afloat.

Dreaming and Drowning is an intimate and visceral deep-dive into the boundless mind of a young Black queer man wrestling with anxiety. This electrifying world premiere of the Mustapha Matura Award-winning play is written and directed by Kwame Owusu (HORIZON), performed by Tienne Simon (Grime Kids, BBC) and produced by WoLab (For a Palestinian).

This Might Not Be It
30 January – 2 March 2024
Written by Sophia Chetin-Leuner
Directed by Ed Madden

‘You care a lot, that’s nice. It shows your age.’

Jay’s new. He’s just started as a temp at an NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service office. He arrives with little more than a fledgling desk plant and well-meaning plans to change the broken system.

Angela’s seen it all. She’s been working in this building for over 30 years, and nothing seems to faze her – except perhaps this eager new hire who seems determined to challenge her at every turn.

Exhausted by archaic protocol, Jay starts to bend the rules to breaking point in a desperate attempt to help their patients. Trust is shattered, professional boundaries are crossed, and Jay discovers the reality of what is truly at stake.

This Might Not Be It unflinchingly confronts the hard truths of our crumbling NHS mental health services. This candid portrayal of human lives at the mercy of the system is written by former Bush Emerging Writers’ Group member Sophia Chetin-Leuner. Directed by Ed Madden (Octopolis, Hampstead) and produced by Broccoli Arts (Salty Irina, Summerhall) in association with Jessie Anand Productions (Orlando, 59E59).

Share via
Send this to a friend

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.