For its inaugural production in its new home at the old library on Uxbridge Road, the Bush has engaged 66 writers to respond to each of the 66 books in The King James Bible in celebration of its 400th year anniversary. From Jeanette Winterson to Jack Thorne, Carol Ann Duffy to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Billy Bragg to Wole Soyinka, 66 playwrights, poets, songwriters and novelists from all faiths and none, from over a dozen countries and across five continents, form this epic cycle of theatre. It will begin performances there Oct. 10, prior to an official opening Oct. 14, then run through Oct. 29.
It was at Westminster Abbey in 1611 that a group of scholars gathered together in the Jerusalem Chamber to translate key passages of the Bible for King James. The one-off performance there will feature leading British actors and a number of the 66 writers performing their own works.
Curated by artistic director Josie Rourke in collaboration with associate director Christopher Haydon, Sixty-Six Books is designed to create an immersive experience that will both inaugurate the Bush Theatre’s new home and celebrate the King James Bible at Westminster Abbey.
The complete list of writers comprises Kwame Kwei Armah, Alia Bano, Neil Bartlett, Caroline Bird, Yemisi Blake, Billy Bragg, Moira Buffini, Sam Burns, Suhayla El Bushra, Anne Carson, Matt Charman, Brian Chikwava, Elinor Cook, Laura Dockrill, Carol Ann Duffy, Stella Duffy, David Edgar, Helen Edmundson, David Eldridge, Adam Foulds, Naomi Foyle, Salena Godden, Chris Goode, James Graham, Trevor Griffiths, Suheir Hammad, Nathalie Handal, Nancy Harris, Daisy Hasan, DC Jackson, Jackie Kay, Luke Kennard, Maha Khan Philips, Deirdre Kinahan, Nancy Kricorian, Neil LaBute, Nick Laird, Mandla Langla, Toby Litt, Lachlan Mackinnon, Anne Michaels, Helen Mort, Kate Mosse, Andrew Motion, Paul Muldoon, Molly Naylor, Anthony Neilson, Nick Payne, Wena Poon, Ben Power, Anya Reiss, Tim Rice, Michael Rosen, Amy Rosenthal, Kamila Shamsie, Owen Sheers, Christopher Shinn, Wole Soyinka, Jack Thorne, Enda Walsh, Zukiswa Wanner, Steve Waters, Rowan Williams, Jeanette Winterson, Anthony Weigh and Roy Williams.
To book tickets for both the Bush run and the Westminster Abbey performance, contact the box office on 020 8743 5050, or visit www.bushtheatre.co.uk.