Bush Theatre to Premiere Plays by LaBute, Brace, Waters and Campbell

News   Bush Theatre to Premiere Plays by LaBute, Brace, Waters and Campbell
The Bush Theatre at Shepherd's Bush has announced details of a new season that will include a one-man play by Neil LaBute, a double-bill of plays about climate change by Steve Waters, a second play by Alexi Kaye Campbell (whose first, The Pride, was seen at the Royal Court's Theatre Upstairs last December), and an indoor promenade performance of a dramatization of former journalist Alan Brace's tour of Amman, which will be take place at the nearby West 12 Centre.
Neil LaBute
Neil LaBute

The season will begin with Neil LaBute's Wrecks, a monologue about the nature of life and death and what society will accept in the name of love, which will be performed by Robert Glenister. It begins performances Feb. 10, prior to an official opening on Feb. 13, for a run to March 28. It revolves around a character called Edward Carr, an ordinary man; a doting father of four and a successful businessman. His world has been shattered by the death of his beloved wife JoJo. Through his grief, he picks through his past, piecing together the story of his life, like the wrecks of the cars he so lovingly restores. LaBute's plays that have previously been seen at the Bush include The War on Terror and Helter Skelter/Land of the Dead. He was represented last year in London by productions of Fat Pig (Trafalgar Studios, then Comedy) and In a Dark Dark House (Almeida). Glenister is best known for his roles in TV's "Hustle" and "Spooks," and he has also worked extensively for the RSC, National and Royal Court. Wrecks will be directed by Bush Theatre artistic director Josie Rourke. It is designed by Lucy Osborne, with lighting by Hartley T A Kemp and sound by Emma Laxton.

Adam Brace's Stovepipe, a HighTide production in collaboration with the Bush and National Theatre, is being staged as an indoor promenade performance at the West 12 Centre in Shepherd's Bush. It will begin performances there March 3, prior to an official opening March 9, for a run to April 26. A dramatization of former journalist Adam Brace's tour of Amman, the production is described in press materials as delivering "a vision of a post-war Middle East." Brace became fascinated with Amman having befriended soldiers from the United States Army whilst living in South Korea. He was intrigued by the perceived safety of this area, so geographically close to Iraq and yet so different. It was said to him numerous times that in Amman there were people passing each other on the street who, when back in Iraq, would be trying to kill each other. He spent time in Amman socializing with and researching Private Military Companies and the men who work for them, as well as investigating the Rebuild Iraq Conference that was taking place whilst the conflict raged in the country next door. Directed by Jerwood Award winner Michael Longhurst (Dirty Butterfly, Young Vic), the cast includes Christian Bradley, Shaun Dooley, Niall Macgregor, Eleanor Matsuura and Sargon Yelda. The production will feature designs by takis, lighting by Matt Prentice, sound by Steve Mayo and dramaturgy by Jack Bradley. Patrons are being advised to wear comfortable shoes and dress warmly.

Back at its home theatre, Steve Waters will premiere a double bill of plays, Resilience and On the Beach, which are being presented under the umbrella title The Contingency Plan. Performances will begin April 22, prior to an official opening of both plays on May 7 at 3 and 6 PM, for a run to June 6. The plays, described in press materials as coming from "the frontline of climate change," both stand alone and are complementary. Together, they present an epic portrait of an England of the near future, in which huge flooding has destroyed Bristol and threatens to sink the east coast. Resilience is described as a Whitehall satire, in which a Tory government has just come to power and wants radical answers to the imminent floods. In On the Beach, Will returns from the Antarctic Survey to visit his parental home on the Norfolk coast. His father is a discredited climatologist and radical thinker. Will's decision to work from within government enrages his father and brings the family to breaking point. Will's mother Jenny struggles to keep the peace but a much more immediate threat faces the couple. When the floods come, will they leave their home and the landscape they love for higher ground? Waters' previous plays include Fast Labour, Plague of People, English Journeys and After the Gods (all at Hampstead Theatre) and World Music (Donmar Warehouse).

Next, Alexi Kaye Campbell, whose first play The Pride was seen at the Royal Court's Theatre Upstairs in December 2008, will debut his second play, Apologia, beginning performances June 17 prior to an official opening June 22, for a run to July 18. Josie Rourke will direct the play, which revolves around Kristin Weybridge, an eminent and successful art critic. As a young mother, she followed her politics and art, storming Parisian barricades and following her heart to Florence. Her successful memoir secures her place in history but fails to mention her sons. Her birthday should be a time for celebration but when her son Simon decides to deliver his version of the past, everyone must confront the cost of Kristin's commitment to her work.

Finally, the Bush has commissioned five new playwrights — Zawe Ashton, James Graham, Joel Horwood, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Michelle Terry – to write suddenlostofdignity.com, which press materials describe as the theatre's "next audience-inspired theatrical summer romp." The press information explains, "For all those of you who have unwittingly tucked your skirt in your knickers, pestered your ex with drink-and-dial or decided that your sister's wedding was the ideal time to try your hand at breakdancing, suddenlossofdignity.com is the ideal collective therapy." Previewing as part of the Latitude Festival from July 16-19, it will then come to the Bush Theatre to begin performances July 29, prior to an official opening Aug. 3, for a run to Aug. 15. It is directed by Anthea Williams. To book tickets contact the box office at 020 8743 5050 or visit www.bushtheatre.co.uk.

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