Bush promises season of Aliens, History and School

Published August 3, 2010

The Bush theatre has revealed a 2010/11 season featuring work by playwrights Annie Baker, DC Jackson, John Donnelly, Steve Waters and Deirdre Kinehan, which explores everything from education to office romances.

The UK premiere of The Aliens, by Obie Award-winning American playwright Baker, opens the season, playing from 15 September to 16 October. Directed by hugely influential British director Peter Gill, making his debut at the Bush theatre, The Aliens puts modern America under the microscope by following professional dropouts KJ and Jasper, who spend their days sitting in a Vermont coffee shop discussing music and Bukowski.

Edinburgh Festival transfer My Romantic History, which plays at Edinburgh’s Traverse theatre from 5 to 29 August, follows The Aliens at the Bush from 20 October to 20 November. Jackson’s tale of an office affair haunted by childhood sweethearts is directed by Lyndsey Turner, who recently directed Laura Wade’s Posh at the Royal Court. It stars Iain Robertson – best known for playing Gash in Rab C Nesbitt – Rosalind Sydney and Alison O’Donnell, who appeared in Eigengrau at the Bush earlier this year.

The Bush theatre’s School Season, which runs from 12 January to 19 February, features two plays, focusing on very different facets of the education system, running in repertoire.

Written by Donnelly, who draws on his own experience of working in schools, The Knowledge focuses on Zoe, a young teacher in a failing school who doesn’t want to teach a group of kids how to cope with life as that is something she is not sure how to do herself.

Waters’s Little Platoons, which runs alongside The Knowledge, follows a group of West London parents who take up the government’s new offer to start their own school. They want to create an education that their children will enjoy rather than endure, but as they find their lives given over to a disturbing version of the Big Society, their fervour turns to panic.

The season concludes with Kinehan’s Moment (25 February to 26 March). The fast and funny play by the Artistic Director of Tall Tales depicts a family welcoming home a member who for years has been in prison for a dark crime. He has news to share and a conscience to clear.

The Bush theatre is currently presenting its summer show, The Great British Country Fete, a musical about the British institution that is home to fascist jam makers, murderous marrow growers, ‘special’ brownies and enough bunting to cause a national fabric shortage.

MA