London's Bush Theatre Is On The Move, Swapping Room Above Pub For Former Library

News   London's Bush Theatre Is On The Move, Swapping Room Above Pub For Former Library
London's Bush Theatre is on the move, and has been granted permission to relocate from its current home above a pub to a former library building nearby, which it will take over in 2011.

Opened 38 years ago in what was the upstairs dining room of The Bush Hotel, The Bush has evolved into a theatre that is celebrated for its work in premiering new plays and championing pioneering playwrights, and is where Elling, now previewing on Broadway, began its London life. The lease on the theatre's current building, where it has suffered from a series of leaks and power cuts, expires in October 2011. It has for some time been searching for a more spacious new home within the Shepherds Bush area, and began an association with the old library in September 2009 when it created a script library there by asking publishers to donate play texts – the current collection through the publishers' generosity stretches to hundreds of volumes. The Bush has been working alongside Hammersmith and Fulham Council during the past two years to gain consent for the move from the Church of England who own the building.

The theatre is launching a capital campaign to fund the move and renovation costs, with the new building opening its doors in 2011. The architect for the conversion of the library is Steve Tompkins at Haworth Tompkins. In the meantime the current season is scheduled through February 2011, and will continue to be performed at their current address above O’Neill’s Pub on Shepherds Bush Green.

In a press statement, the theatre's artistic director Josie Rourke commented, "We are thrilled that The Bush has finally found a wonderful new home in the heart of Shepherds Bush after 18 months of working closely with Hammersmith and Fulham Council to relocate the theatre. Our current space above the pub has seen some extraordinary productions, but after 38 years it is time for the Bush to find a new home. The old library is a perfect fit for The Bush at the right time in the company's history. This beautiful building, just around the corner, will vastly improve the Bush experience for writers, artists and for our audiences. The Bush is the first, and the cornerstone building of the planned regeneration of the local market, and we're excited by the opportunity to work closely with local residents and businesses to make this corner of Shepherds Bush a vibrant destination for the community. This move promises to open up an exciting new chapter in The Bush's future and I cannot wait to make this long-planned dream become reality."

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