Bush Neighbourhood

Bush Theatre gets locals to put their neighbourhoods on stage

It’s not often that local people have the chance to write and perform their own sell-out stage production with a respected theatre.

But talented residents of Hammersmith & Fulham collaborated with the Bush Theatre in a unique series of performances celebrating the diversity of the local area.

The Neighbourhood Project was unveiled at the former BBC Television Centre in Shepherds Bush recently following a five-month schedule of workshops.

Look Left Look Right: The Neighbourhood Project directed by Sam Wood
Look Left Look Right: The Neighbourhood Project directed by Sam Wood

Local people worked with the Bush Theatre, in collaboration with award-winning theatre company Look Left Look Right, to produce the show, which sold out over its four-night run last month.

The production – which included themes of community resistance, diversity and migration - was written and developed over the months by theatre professionals Molly Taylor and Sam Wood, as well as through the input of the wider company, drawn from the borough.

Among the H&F residents to get involved with The Neighbourhood Project was former actress Naomi Westerman.

She said: “During the months, people came in and out, but I was surprised by the level of commitment and passion.

“Some chose to perform, some contributed their stories but preferred not to be onstage, but every single person in the room was invaluable.

“Some of our community cast have never performed before, and it’s been inspiring watching them grow and become such confident performers.”

The Bush Theatre breaks out 

Bush Theatre: Look Left Look Right
Bush Theatre: Look Left Look Right

The Neighbourhood Project is part of a series of productions that have been brought out into the community by the Bush Theatre while it undergoes a £4m renovation of its main building, which is being supported by Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

Included in the season off-site will be the European premiere of Melissa Bubnic’s Boys Will Be Boys at Bush Hall from 25 June to 30 July.

Bush Theatre will also present This Place We Know, a series of shows by six playwrights performed in non-theatre spaces along Uxbridge Road later this year.

For more details, visit www.bushtheatre.co.uk.

Pictures by Helen Murray

Look Left Look Right
Look Left Look Right
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