By Mark Shenton
06 Feb 2013
In a press statement, Madani Younis, the theatre's artistic director, commented, "I'm thrilled to announce the company’s new season – three major in-house productions by three major talents making their playwrighting debuts. The first is novelist Ayad Akhtar whose play Disgraced took New York by storm – Nadia Fall will helm this new production for the Bush. We then welcome two extraordinarily talented actors, honoring the company with their first plays – Cush Jumbo exploring the life of the iconic Josephine Baker in Josephine and I and Rory Kinnear's The Herd directed by Howard Davies. Alongside these works we welcome HighTide back to the Bush to stage Moth in the Attic Space - a UK première by an emerging Australian playwright, Declan Green.
Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced will begin performances May 17, prior to an official opening May 22, for a run through June 15. Nadia Falls, who directed The Doctor's Dilemma at the National — where she was also associate director for The Curious Incident Of the Dog In the Night-time – directs this play, set in New York today, which revolves around corporate lawyer Amir Kapoor who is happy, in love and about to land the biggest career promotion of his life. But beneath the veneer, success has come at a price. When Amir and his artist wife, Emily, host an intimate dinner party at their Upper East Side apartment, what starts out as a friendly conversation soon escalates into something far more damaging.
First premiered by Chicago's American Theater Company in January 2012, where it won the Jeff Equity Award for Best New Play in 2012, it was subsequently seen at LCT3, New York.
Next, Cush Jumbo's Josephine and I begins performances July 12, prior to an official opening July 17, for a run through Aug. 10. Jumbo, who also appears in her own play, in the title role of Josephine Baker —performer, political activist and international icon — was last seen on the London stage in the all-female Julius Caesar at the Donmar Warehouse, in which she played Mark Antony.
Another actor turned writer Rory Kinnear will premiere The Herd, beginning performances Sept. 13 prior to an official opening Sept. 18, for a run through Oct. 12. In the play, it's Andy Griffith's 21st birthday. Not that he's counting. But his mother Carol is. Counting the minutes until he arrives, counting the unexpected guests, counting the times that this has happened before. The play is described in press materials as a witty and heartfelt look at a family falling apart and pulling together when life doesn't turn out quite the way they imagined. Kinnear is shortly to play Iago opposite Adrian Lester's Othello at the National, and last year was seen in The Last of the Haussman's, also at the National, and on screen in "Skyfall." It will be directed by Howard Davies, who also directed The Last of the Haussmans and The White Guard, both featuring Kinnear.
In the Bush's attic space, High Tide Festival Theatre's production of the European premiere of emerging Australian playwright Declan Greene's Moth will begin performances May 29 prior to an official opening May 30 for a run through June 8. Directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah, it revolves around Sebastian, who is "that kid" at high school. He's weird. He smells. He’s obsessed with comics, and talks to himself. But after a catastrophic fallout with his only friend, Claryssa, he wakes up with a moth in a jar by his bed, and a calling to save the souls of all humanity. And so begins the Passion of Sebastian: a journey into a terrifying and starless night. First produced by Arena Theatre and Malthouse Theatre at the CUB Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne in 2010, it premieres at HighTide Festival Theatre before opening at the Bush.
To book tickets, contact the box ofice on 020 8743 5050 or visit www.bushtheatre.co.uk for more details.