this is where we get to when you came in
by Elinor Cook and non zero one.
Bush Theatre Shepherds Bush Green W12 8QD To 30 September 2011.
6.30pm, 7pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm, 9pm, 9.30pm, Mon-Sat (but note, the run is sold out).
Tour lasts 1hr.
TICKETS: 020 8743 5050.
Review: Carole Woddis 16 September.
Goodbye, good luck – and a good show.
Well, this is the end of an era. The Bush Theatre, after 39 years in the room at the top of the pub on Shepherds Bush Green, is finally moving to new premises – the old Library in Uxbridge Road, left vacant by the library’s decamp to its posh new quarters in the Westfield Shopping Centre.
Clichés can come all too readily to hand at the passing of such a landmark. For the Bush was very much part of the spirit of an age when fringe theatre sprang up in all sorts of unexpectedly unprepossessing places only to proceed to beguile and bewitch with magical inventions on shoe-string budgets.
Easy to be sentimental, especially in this delicately framed, cleverly simple and loving farewell production commissioned by outgoing artistic director Josie Rourke (off to the Donmar in 2012) from up-and-coming young installation artists non zero one.
Devising a little tour around the miracle that was a building that defied health and safety, which saw fire, flood and even performed a season in darkness when the lights collapsed, this is where we got to when you came in is designed to bring a lump to the throat.
Progressing in groups of four, with an accompanying voice-over from actor Justin Salinger and reminiscences from past Bush Theatre inhabitants, here you are in the cramped box office, the dressing room, the ladies toilet invited to write your own moment of history onto the soon-to-be-defunct walls and gazing out of the fire exit across the west London rooftops.
Then you are behind the stage door, awaiting your cue before advancing onto the stage itself. In this plain black box, stars were made: Victoria Wood, Julie Walters, Alan Rickman, Sharman Macdonald, Stephen Poliakoff, Conor McPherson, Jonathan Harvey, Catherine Johnson – the list is endless. And so was the magic that emerged out of it.
My particular favourite in recent years was Steve Waters’ The Contingency Plan. But everyone will have their own favourites.
Every building has its ghosts – and legends. The old Bush Theatre has them in abundance. New ones, however, are about to begin…
Non zero one are:
Sarah Butcher, Iván González, Cat Harrison, John Hunter, Fran Miller and Alex Turner
Designer: Julia Berndt
Sound Artist: James Bulley
non zero one also thank the following who spoke about the building:
Deborah Aydon, Sam Barnet, Sebastian Born, Mike Bradwell, David Brooks, Paul Copley, James Grieve, Jonathan Harvey, Tamara Harvey, Robert Holman, Dusty Hughes, Katie Lyons, Anthony Newton, Lucy Osbourne, Nicky Pallot, Alan Rickman, Josie Rourke, Emma Stoffer, Simon Stokes, Geoff Stretfield, Michelle Terry, Jack Thorne, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Lizzy Watts.
People who volunteered their shadow:
Cassie Atkinson, Rob Delaney, Rob Hastie, Jess Latowicki, Laura Matthews, Katae Millest, Tim O’Hara, Ros Steele.
Annette Butler, Caroline Dyott, Neil Hobbs, Naia Johns, Anthony Newton.
non zero one volunteers:
Nia Burr, Simone Finney, Courtney Lewis, Florian Pfingsttag, Florence Turner.
And all of the people who volunteered to put bums on seats, everyone who took part in tests, Justin Salinger, Anthony Newton, Karen Fricker, Marianne Dicker and the National Theatre, O’Neils Pub and Management and the current Bush Theatre staff for saving post-it notes, diet coke cans and doing a whole multitude of quite random tasks.
The Bush Theatre relocates to the old library on Uxbridge Road in October opening with Sixty-Six Books, 66 playwrights, poets, novelists and song writers responding to each of the 66 books in The King James Bible to celebrate its 400th year anniversary.