U.K's Bush Theatre Plans Biblical Epic; Tim Rice, Christopher Shinn and Neil LaBute Contribute

News   U.K's Bush Theatre Plans Biblical Epic; Tim Rice, Christopher Shinn and Neil LaBute Contribute
Tony-winning lyricist Tim Rice and playwrights Christopher Shinn and Neil LaBute will be among 66 writers who will unite to pen a biblical stage epic based on the King James Bible, according to Variety.

Tim Rice
Tim Rice Photo by Krissie Fullerton

Sixty-Six Books will include individual and contemporary responses to the King James edition of the bible. It will premiere at the Bush Theatre Oct. 10.

Some 100 artists will participate in the work that will be helmed by a team of directors including Bush associate director Christopher Haydon and out-going artistic director Josie Rourke. Sixty-Six Books is expected to be performed in six-hour components, broken into smaller three-hour segments. 24-hour marathon events, representing all 66 texts, are also planned.

Sixty-Six Books will officially open Oct. 14 for a run through Oct. 29.

According to the Bush, "From Jeanette Winterson to Jack Thorne, Carol Ann Duffy to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Billy Bragg to Wole Soyinka, 66 writers from a huge range of backgrounds and disciplines have made a contemporary response to some of the oldest stories ever told. In 2011, the 400th anniversary year of the publication of the King James Bible, each book of this great English work is spoken to by a remarkable range of playwrights, poets, songwriters, novelists and comedians from all faiths and none, from over a dozen countries and across five continents."

Additional writers involved include 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, Nick Laird, Mandla Langla, Stewart Lee, 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, Michael Rosen, Kamila Shamsie, Owen Sheers, Wole Soyinka, Jack Thorne, Enda Walsh, Zukiswa Wanner, Steve Waters, Rowan Williams, Jeanette Winterson, Anthony Weigh and Roy Williams. The Bush is also planning the world premieres of The Kitchen Sink by Tom Wells; and Our New Girl by Nancy Harris.

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