Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Bush Theatre

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Years active
1972 - Present

+44 20 8743 5050

Type of business



Bush Theatre

Public transit
Shepherd's Bush Market Shepherd's Bush

Alternative Theatre Company

Seasons of guest and commissioned productions

6th April 1972; 44 years ago (6th April 1972)

7 Uxbridge Rd, Shepherd's Bush, London W12 8LJ, UK

Royal Court Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Arcola Theatre, Young Vic, Lyric Theatre


Bush theatre redevelopment

The Bush Theatre is based in Shepherd's Bush, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. It was established in 1972 and has since become one of the most celebrated new writing theatres in the world. The Bush strives to create a space which nurtures, develops and showcases the best of new artists and their work.


A seedbed for the best new playwrights, many of whom have gone on to become established names in the industry, the Bush has produced hundreds of groundbreaking premieres, many of them Bush Theatre commissions, and hosted guest productions by leading companies and artists from across the world.

Aela o flynn moment bush theatre london 2011

Artistic Directors

  • Jenny Topper (1977–88), jointly with Nicky Pallot (1979–90)
  • Dominic Dromgoole (1990–96)
  • Mike Bradwell (1996–2007)
  • Josie Rourke (2007–12)
  • Madani Younis (2011–present)
  • History

    On Thursday 6 April 1972, the Bush Theatre was established above The Bush public house on the corner of Goldhawk Road and Shepherd's Bush Green, in what was once the dance studio of Lionel Blair. It was established by a maverick actor, Brian McDermott, who used to tour the Fringe. The venue, despite its fame and massive output, was intimate, only holding a maximum audience of approximately 80. The first production was an adaption of The Collector by John Fowles, directed by John Neville and starring Annette Andre and Brian McDermott.

    Throughout 1992, the Bush Theatre celebrated 20 years at the frontier of new writing. "What has held the Bush together for 20 years? Blind faith, youthful commitment and a tenacious belief in new writing: above all, perhaps, the conviction that new work deserves the highest standards in acting, direction and design," The Guardian. The Bush won The Empty Space Award for the year's work, which included Billy Roche's Bush plays A Handful Of Stars, Poor Beatin The Rain and Belfry playing in repertory as The Wexford Trilogy, which toured to Wexford Opera House and the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.

    In November 2010, the Bush Theatre announced it would be leaving its home of nearly forty years and moving to the old Passmore Edwards Public Library building, round the corner from its own home, on Uxbridge Road.

    The relocation took place in 2011 and opened with the "Sixty-Six Books" project. This was a celebration of the anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, which used 66 different writers, many of whom were veterans of the Bush.

    That same year, Artistic Director Josie Rourke announced her departure from the Bush to take up the position of Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse. The Board appointed Madani Younis as her successor from January 2012. In 2013, newly appointed Madani Younis programmed the theatre's most successful season to date, which saw the theatre play to 99% capacity.

    In Spring 2016, the Bush Theatre relocated its plays to found spaces around Shepherd's Bush and Notting Hill, as the former library building closed for the largest capital project in the theatre’s history. Borrowing new and iconic spaces with their own histories and tales of the local community, this season of work welcomed new audiences and residents by offering a number of free and subsidised theatre tickets to local people.

    In March 2017, following a landmark year of taking plays into the communities of West London, the Bush Theatre will return home following a £4.3m revitalisation of the venue. The year-long redevelopment was driven by the aim of realising Artistic Director Madani Younis’ vision for a theatre that reflected the diversity and vibrancy of London. Upon reopening, the building will be more sustainable and entirely accessible, with a new entrance, front-of-house area and exterior garden terrace to the main street.


    Following the 2016/17 redevelopment, the Bush Theatre now has two performance spaces:

  • The Theatre, which is a reserved seating venue with a maximum capacity of 180. It has remained in its original location and can be configured in a thrust, end on or in the round layout.
  • The Studio, is an unreserved seating venue with a maximum capacity of 70 and is a home for emerging artists and producers. Similarly, this space can be configured in a thrust, end on or in the round layout.
  • The building also contains an Attic rehearsal space and Writer's Room, along with a Café Bar, garden terrace and playtext library, which is the largest public theatre reference library in the United Kingdom.

    New writing

    The Literary Department at the Bush Theatre is committed to discovering the best new plays from playwrights from the widest range of backgrounds and therefore seek unsolicited submissions throughout the year in dedicated script windows. The Bush is a proud champion of playwrights with a keen interest in those voices not often heard and reflecting the contemporary culture of London, the UK and beyond. The Department receives nearly 2000 scripts a year from new and established playwrights all of which are read and considered for production or development at the Bush.

    The Bush Theatre look for exciting new voices that tell contemporary stories with wit, style and passion and have produced hundreds of ground-breaking premieres since its inception in 1972, many of them Bush Theatre commissions, and hosted guest productions by leading companies and artists from across the world. The Bush has won over 100 awards, and developed an enviable reputation for touring its acclaimed productions nationally and internationally.


    1977 - George Devine Award to Robert Holman for German Skerries
    1979 - George Devine Award to Jonathan Gems for The Tax Exile
    1982 - Samuel Beckett Award for Coming Clean by Kevin Elyot
    1986 - Laurence Olivier Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement to Robert Holman for Making Noises Quietly
    1989 - John Whiting Award for Handful of Stars by Billy Roche
    1993 - Laurence Olivier Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement to Billy Roche for The Wexford Trilogy
    1993 - Susan Smith Blackburn Award to Jane Coles for Backstroke In A Crowded Pool
    1993 - John Whiting Award for The Clearing by Helen Edmundson
    1994 - John Whiting Award for Beautiful Thing by Jonathan Harvey
    1995 - Laurence Olivier Award Nomination for Beautiful Thing by Jonathan Harvey
    1996 - Susan Smith Blackburn Award to Naomi Wallace for One Flea Spare
    1997 - Meyer-Whitworth Award to Conor McPherson for This Lime Tree Bower
    1998- George Devine Award to Helen Blakeman for Caravan
    1998 - Meyer-Whitworth Award to Daragh Carville for Language Roulette
    1999 - George Devine Award to Mark O'Rowe for Howie the Rookie
    2005 - Meyer-Whitworth Award to Stephen Thompson for Damages
    2006 - Susan Smith Blackburn Award to Amelia Bullmore for Mammals
    2007 - Susan Smith Blackburn Award to Abbie Spallen for Pumpgirl
    2013 - Pulitzer Prize for Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar


    To celebrate 40 years of the Bush Theatre, "Close-Up Magic": 40 Years at the Bush Theatre was published, charting the history of the theatre and including contributions from past directors, actors, writers and audience members.

    Selected past productions

    This is a list of selected productions of the Bush Theatre:

  • 2016 The Royale by Marco Ramirez
  • 2016 Boys Will Be Boys by Melissa Bubnic
  • 2016 Right Now by Catherine-Anne Toupin
  • 2016 Pink Mist by Owen Sheers
  • 2015 Forget Me Not by Tom Holloway
  • 2015 RADAR 2015
  • 2015 F*ck the Polar Bears by Tanya Ronder
  • 2015 The Invisible by Rebecca Lenkiewicz
  • 2015 The Angry Brigade by James Graham
  • 2015 The Royale by Marco Ramirez
  • 2015 Islands by Caroline Horton
  • 2014 Visitors by Barney Norris
  • 2014 Albion by Chris Thompson
  • 2014 RADAR 2014
  • 2014 Perseverance Drive by Robin Soans
  • 2014 Incognito by Nick Payne
  • 2014 We Are Proud to Present a Presentation by the Herero of Namibia, formerly known as South West Africa, from the German Sud-Ouest Afrika Between the Years 1895 - 1915 by Jackie Sibblies-Drury
  • 2014 Ciphers by Dawn King
  • 2013 Jumpers for Goalposts by Tom Wells
  • 2013 RADAR 2013
  • 2013 The Herd by Rory Kinnear
  • 2013 Josephine and I by Cush Jumbo
  • 2013 Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama)
  • 2013 Three Birds by Janice Okoh
  • 2013 Money the game show by Clare Duffy
  • 2012 Straight by D. C. Moore
  • 2012 Snookered by Ishy Din
  • 2012 Chalet Lines by Lee Mattinson
  • 2012 The Beloved by Amir Nizar Zuabi
  • 2012 Mad About the Boy by Gbolahan Obisesan
  • 2012 Fear by Dominic Savage
  • 2012 Our New Girl by Nancy Harris
  • 2011 The Kitchen Sink by Tom Wells
  • 2011 Sixty-Six Books by Sixty-Six Writers
  • 2011 This is where we got to when you came in by non zero one
  • 2011 Where's My Seat? by Dierdre Kinahan, Tom Wells and Jack Thorne
  • 2011 In The Beginning by Nick Payne
  • 2011 Moment by Deirdre Kinahan
  • 2011 Little Platoons by Steve Waters
  • 2011 The Knowledge by John Donnelly
  • 2010 My Romantic History by D C Jackson
  • 2010 The Aliens by Annie Baker
  • 2010 The Great British Country Fete by Russell Kane and Michael Bruce
  • 2010 Like A Fishbone by Anthony Weigh
  • 2010 A Little Gem by Elaine Murphy
  • 2010 Eigengrau by Penelope Skinner
  • 2010 The Whisky Taster by James Graham
  • 2009 The Contingency Plan by Steve Waters
  • 2009 The Stefan Golaszewski Plays by Stefan Golaszewski
  • 2009 If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet by Nick Payne
  • 2009 Sea Wall by Simon Stephens
  • 2009 2 May 1997 by Jack Thorne
  • 2009 by Zawe Ashton, James Graham, Joel Horwood, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm & Michelle Terry
  • 2009 Apologia by Alexi Kaye Campbell
  • 2009 Stovepipe by Adam Brace
  • 2009 Wrecks by Neil LaBute
  • 2008 50 Ways to Leave your Lover at Christmas by Leah Chillery, Ben Ellis, Stacey Gregg, Lucy Kirkwood, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm & Ben Schiffer
  • 2008 I Caught Crabs in Walberswick by Joel Horwood
  • 2008 Broken Space Season by Neil LaBute, Bryony Lavery, Simon Stephens, Declan Feenan, Mike Bartlett, Nancy Harris, Lucy Kirkwood, Ben Schiffer, Jack Thorne & Anthony Weigh
  • 2008 Turf by Simon Vinnicombe
  • 2008 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by Leah Chillery, Ben Ellis, Stacey Gregg, Lucy Kirkwood & Ben Schiffer
  • 2008 2,000 Feet Away by Anthony Weigh
  • 2008, Tinderbox by Lucy Kirkwood
  • 2008 Artefacts by Mike Bartlett
  • 2008 Helter Skelter/Land of the Dead by Neil LaBute
  • 2007 tHe dYsFUnCKshOnalZ! by Mike Packer
  • 2007 How To Curse by Ian McHugh
  • 2007 Flight Path by David Watson
  • 2007 Trance by Shoji Kokami
  • 2007 Elling by Simon Bent
  • 2007 Tom Fool by Franz Xaver Kroetz
  • 2007 I Like Mine With a Kiss by Georgia Fitch
  • 2007 Product: World Remix by Mark Ravenhill
  • 2007 What Would Judas Do by Stewart Lee
  • 2006 Whipping It Up by Stephen Thompson
  • 2006 Bones by Kay Adshead
  • 2006 Pumpgirl by Abbie Spallen
  • 2006 Cruising by Alecky Blythe
  • 2006 Crooked by Catherine Trieschmann
  • 2006 Trad by Mark Doherty
  • 2006 Christmas Is Miles Away by Chloe Moss
  • 2006 Try These On For International Size by Reg Cribb, Jón Atli Jónasson, Abbie Spallen, Shoji Kokami
  • 2006 Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers Of The Qur'an by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt
  • 2005 When You Cure Me by Jack Thorne
  • 2005 Bottle Universe by Simon Burt
  • 2005 After the End by Dennis Kelly
  • 2005 The Obituary Show by The People Show
  • 2005 Kingfisher Blue by Lin Coghlan
  • 2005 Mammals by Amelia Bullmore
  • 2005 Take Me Away by Gerald Murphy
  • 2005 Bites by Kay Adshead
  • 2004 Going Donkeys by Richard Cameron
  • 2004 How Love Is Spelt by Chloe Moss
  • 2004 Damages by Steve Thompson
  • 2004 Adrenalin...Heart by Georgia Fitch
  • 2004 One Minute by Simon Stephens
  • 2004 Christmas by Simon Stephens
  • 2003 The God Botherers by Richard Bean
  • 2003 Airsick by Emma Frost
  • 2003 Nine Parts of Desire by Heather Raffo
  • 2003 Little Baby Nothing by Catherine Johnson
  • 1999 Howie the Rookie by Mark O'Rowe
  • 1997 Disco Pigs by Enda Walsh
  • 1997 Love and Understanding by Joe Penhall
  • 1997 St Nicholas by Conor McPherson
  • 1997 All of You Mine by Richard Cameron
  • 1991 The Pitchfork Disney by Philip Ridley
  • 1988 A Handful of Stars by Billy Roche
  • 1987 Dreams of San Francisco by Jacqueline Holborough
  • 1987 It's A Girl by John Burrow
  • 1987 Tattoo Theatre by Mladen Materic
  • 1987 The Mystery of the Rose Bouquet by Mauel Puig
  • 1987 Effies Burning by Valerie Windsor
  • 1987 People Show No 92 Whistle Stop by People Show
  • 1987 Love Field by Stephen Davis
  • 1987 More Light by Snoo Wilson
  • 1987 An Imitation of Life by Abbie Spallen
  • 1986 The Oven Glove Murders by Nick Darke
  • 1986 Making Noise Quietly by Robert Holman
  • 1985 Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig
  • 1983 Hard Feelings by Doug Lucie
  • 1980 Duet for One by Tom Kempinski
  • 1972 The Relief of Martha King by David Parker
  • 1972 Christmas Carol by Frank Marcus
  • 1972 Plays for Rubber Gogo by Christopher Wilkinson
  • References

    Bush Theatre Wikipedia

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