New Bush Theatre artistic director Lynette Linton

Aspiring playwrights and young theatregoers should head to Bush Theatre

Aspiring playwrights could get their break this year as the Bush Theatre launches a free group for new writers in west London, as well as plans a scheme to offer free tickets to young people.

The project is part of an initiative by the theatre in Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush, to engage with the local community in the next 12 months as its new artistic director takes the reins.

A total of 1,000 free tickets will be on offer to Londoners aged under 26 to watch new play Level Up during its run from 1 May to 6 June next year.

Lynette Linton, the new artistic director at the Bush Theatre, explained she wants to ‘create a space for the next generation’.

“Malachi Kirby’s debut play, Level Up, celebrates and interrogates youth culture and, for me, braids together the life of our community with the work on stage,” she said.

“Young people will be the heart of this project – from the making of the show to performing on stage alongside Malachi.

“I want to create a space for the next generation. I know I need to be reaching out to 15-year-old Lynette and others like her and saying: ‘You can come in here. This is for you. This is for everyone.’”

The Bush Theatre in Shepherds Bush
The Bush Theatre in Shepherds Bush. PICTURE: PHILIP VILE

West London Writers’ Group

Ahead of its new season of plays, which kicks off on 31 August with Chiaroscuro by Jackie Kay, the Bush is launching a debut West London Writers’ Group.

Run through monthly sessions and one-to-one mentoring, the free group will help eight budding writers aged over 18 to develop their first play.

Deirdre O'Halloran, who works as an associate dramaturg – or literary adviser – at the Bush, explained the group was aimed at beginners who want to develop their writing.

“We’re really excited for finding brand new voices from within our community,” she said.

“It’s a relatively small group so that we can make sure that people receive lots of attention and support from the Bush artistic team as they venture into playwriting for the first time.

“We see this as a great way for first-time writers to start relationships with us.”

Applications are now open until 15 July, with the group launching later this month and running until March 2020.

Meanwhile, the Bush is working with the Masbro Centre Tea Club and The Barons Court Project Women’s Group as part of its community associate companies’ scheme.

The groups will create an artistic project while working with an artist during six monthly workshops, that will be displayed in the theatre building, as well as attending cultural trips including performances and exhibitions.

Apply for free tickets to Level Up and apply for the West London Writers’ Group before 15 July.

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