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Boundary breaking drama on Bush’s RADAR

Published October 1, 2013

Following the success of 2012’s inaugural event, new writing festival RADAR will return to the Bush theatre next month to enable artists and audiences to explore theatre’s “most dangerous, risky and innovative ideas”.

Speaking about this year’s festival, which will run from 6 to 21 November and feature new work by Olivier Award nominee Caroline Horton, the Bush theatre’s Artistic Director Madani Younis outlined the festival’s intent, explaining: “RADAR is an opportunity to think differently about the work we make and the questions we ask about the role of theatre in our society; to reach out and involve our local community with our artistic programme in new ways; and a meeting point of ideas and voices that think beyond the current status quo, profiling alternative networks and imagining new solutions.”

As part of this ambitious aim, the festival will premiere seven new pieces from a line-up of exciting writers. Acclaimed comic writer Bryony Kimmings’ Heartache Heartbreak will open proceedings on 6, 7 and 9 November, calling upon Shepherd’s Bush residents to provide their remedies for the universal problem of a broken heart, followed by Solfatara, a fast-paced drama about a young couple’s frustrations by Spanish writers Mònica Almirall, Miquel Segovia and Albert Pérez.

Soho Theatre Young Writer’s graduate Patrice Etienne will present his first full-length play about love and intimacy in 21st century London, Venus And Mars, on 9, 13 and 19 November, crossing over with Where The White Stops, ANTLER Theatre’s story of the great adventure of Crab and her tragic obsession of the unknown, on 13, 20 and 21 November.

Tackling the 2011 London riots, award-winning playwrights Kieran Hurley and A J Taudevin’s Chalk Farm will play on 14, 15 and 16 November, before Lee Mattinson returns to the Bush following 2012’s Chalet Lines to present Brown Bird (15 and 16 November), a new work about 10-year-old Brownie Beth whose commitment to a good deed every day is tested to breaking point when she sets in place a chain of events from which a community may never be able to recover.

The final of the seven plays, Horton’s Mess, will run on 20 and 21 November. An Associate Artist at the Bush, Horton’s last work at the venue, You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy, earned the performer and playwright an Olivier Award nomination. This new work takes a deeply moving but darkly funny look at Horton’s own experiences of anorexia; charting a journey from the depths of despair to recovery.

The chance to catch these new works is just the tip of what the RADAR festival has in store for participants this year. Alongside the seven plays is the opportunity to take a ‘sneak peek’ at other new works in production, bringing exciting new voices to the stage including South African playwright Amy Jephta’s Free Falling Bird (8 November), Nathan Bryon’s Caribbean restaurant-set On Negril Beach (14 November) and political journalist Hassan Mahamdallie’s one woman-show The Crows Plucked Your Sinews, which will star poet and performer Yusra Warsama (19 November).

Poetry will take centre stage on 8 and 9 November at P.O.P. In The Attic, a series of performances by five spoken poets who will present new work commissioned by award-winning playwright and poet Sabrina Mahfouz, or for something totally different, audiences will have the chance to join playwright Inua Ellams for The Midnight Run (15 November), a guided adventure in which participants will explore the theatre’s neighbourhoods, playgrounds, courtyards and parks under the moonlight.

For more information on any of the shows, as well as details of 20 inspiring talks that will take place at platform events running alongside the performances, visit the Bush theatre website.

“RADAR is an opportunity to think differently about the work we make and the questions we ask about the role of theatre in our society"