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Bush Theatre named ‘Theatre of the Year’ in 50th anniversary year

Categoriesnews Arts and parksnews

Image captionImage 1: Members of the Bush Theatre executive team with their award. From left to right: Literary Manager Deirdre O'Halloran, Artistic Director Lynette Linton, Executive Director Lauren Clancy and Assistant Producer Niki Karia.

The Bush Theatre in Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush, has been named ‘Theatre of the Year’.

It was recognised for supporting the next generation of new talent and showcasing a diversity of stories at The Stage Awards 2023.

After a public nomination, the Bush Theatre pipped other shortlisted venues to the gong – including the Harold Pinter Theatre in London, Liverpool's Royal Court, the Curve Theatre in Leicester, and the Octagon Theatre in Bolton.

The award comes as the venue marked its milestone 50th anniversary last year with a series of plays to “create debate, to broaden audiences’ horizons, and most importantly to entertain,” said artistic director Lynette Linton.

While the theatre’s executive director Lauren Clancy explained the venue’s home in H&F was part of what made it such an “important part of the country’s theatre ecology”.

“This year is the 50th anniversary of the Bush Theatre opening and has been a year of celebration,” Lauren said. “Winning the award is the icing on the cake. Alongside the many awards we’ve been given recently for our productions, this recognition of the work undertaken by our staff team spurs us on another 50 years of groundbreaking theatre and community work.

“I’m proud that such an important part of the country’s theatre ecology has its home in Hammersmith & Fulham.”

Fresh ideas and talent

Evaluated by a panel of experts from the theatre world, the judges praised the Bush for pushing boundaries with its commitment to fresh ideas and talent.

“The Bush Theatre launched a New Writing Fund to raise £100,000 to support the next generation of new talent,” highlighted the judging panel. “Its 50th-anniversary season has been entirely made up of new, unseen plays, all commissioned to boast a diversity of subject matter and theatre makers.”

Since moving to its current Uxbridge Road space in 2011, the Bush has undergone a complete transformation – including a £4.3m renovation project completed in 2016 – with support from H&F Council.

It also runs a local neighbourhood scheme for west London residents, who collaborate with a professional artist to create and perform their own stage show each year.

What’s on

Upcoming shows at the Bush include new play Sleepova, by Matilda Feyiṣayọ Ibini and featuring BAFTA Rising Star Award winner Bukky Bakray, running from 24 February to 8 April.

Writer and comedian Lenny Henry will take over the theatre from 28 April to 10 June with his one-man show, August in England.

To find out more about the theatre and its discounts for local residents, visit the Bush Theatre website.

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