From March 2016, as part of artistic director Madani Younis’ aim of creating a theatre that truly reflects the community, the Bush Theatre will undergo a major redevelopment.
There are plans to create a second performance space, improve backstage facilities and build a new front-of-house area, as well as making the building fully accessible and more sustainable.
During the building works, the Bush Theatre’s programme will move out into the local community, embracing the buildings and people of West London.
Shows will include: the European premiere of Boys Will Be Boys, about representations of women in the male-dominated world of the city; This Place We Know, the first co-production between the Bush Theatre and Headlong; The Neighbourhood Project, a community project in collaboration with Look Left Look Right and featuring residents of Shepherd’s Bush; and a revival of The Royale, based on the story of the first African-American heavyweight champion of the world.
Madani Younis said: “Whilst we are incredibly proud to be redeveloping our theatre for the next generation, a theatre should not be defined by its walls – which is why we want to go beyond them. We have the privilege of being at the heart of one of the most diverse places in the country, and at a cultural crossroads of everything that it is to live in London today. We want to create a building that embraces this, and work that celebrates this. All too often, theatre in this country doesn't reflect the culture of this country. By the end of this year, I hope that we can say with pride that this theatre truly represents the culture of the Uxbridge Road.”
The redevelopment and off-site programme will cost £4m, of which 90% has been raised already. Supporters of the project include Arts Council England and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham as well as generous trusts and foundations, local businesses and individual donors.
The Bush Theatre continues to fundraise for the remaining 10% to deliver the project successfully and cement the theatre as a world-class venue in the heart of Shepherd's Bush. Across three spaces – the auditorium, attic and the studio theatre – the Bush Theatre hopes to welcome around 15,000 more people per year to the venue.