New and old in Bush autumn season

Published April 17, 2008

New writing by young talents combines with work by Neil LaBute and Bush theatre regular Mike Packer in the new season at the West London venue, the first under new Artistic Director Josie Rourke.

Flight Path, a new play by 22-year-old playwright David Watson, opens the autumn season, running from 12 September-6 October (press night 17 September). Naomi Jones directs the premiere of this drama about loyalty, families and friendship. It centres on Jonathan, for whom being 18 means everyone expects and demands the best from him. When he decides to rebel, the shockwaves turn everyone’s world upside down. This is the second play by Watson, whose first, entitled Just A Bloke, was staged as part of the Royal Court’s Young Writer’s Festival in 2002.

Rouke makes her directorial debut at the Bush with its next offering, How To Curse, written by first-time playwright Ian McHugh. The play tells the story of three young people marooned in Great Yarmouth. They harness the power of Shakespeare’s The Tempest but have no idea of the dark magic they will unleash. How To Curse runs from 10 October-10 November (press night 16 October).

Following swiftly on, Packer’s new play tHe dYsFunCKshOnalZ! receives its world premiere at the Bush, running from 14 November-22 December (press night 20 November). Billed as a ‘caustic tale for a consumer generation’, the play centres on former punk band tHe dYsFunCKshOnalZ!, 30 years after its hey day. Punk was the battle against money makers and the establishment of its day, but three decades later can the band keep the anarchy flag flying by deciding not to sell out to the corporate giants? Playwright Packer returns to the Bush with his third comedy, after The Card Boys in 1999 and A Carpet, A Pony And A Monkey in 2002.

Following the Christmas break the Bush turns to established American playwright Neil LaBute for a double bill of plays – Helter Skelter and Land Of The Dead, both of which receive their UK premiere. As each story unfolds in their contemporary American settings, sudden impact and shock change will shape each character’s journey to an unexpected end.

LaBute’s plays include Some Girls, which played the Gielgud in 2005 and starred David Schwimmer, and This Is How It Goes, which ran at the Donmar Warehouse, also in 2005, with a cast including Megan Dodds and Ben Chaplin. LaBute’s work for the big screen includes The Wicker Man and In The Company Of Men.

Helter Skelter/Land Of The Dead is directed by Patricia Benecke and runs from 15 January-16 February 2008 (press night 17 January).

CB