9 Apr 2012

Bush Theatre

I saw a wonderful play this week-end: Chalet Lines, by Lee Mattinson.
An added bonus was that it was being performed in the Bush Theatre which has recently moved into the former Shepherds Bush library. A modern twist of green neon above the entrance gives a taste of what's to come.
The foyer is home to a friendly bar, leading into a reading room/café with book shelves piled high with play texts and gorgeous hardback "coffee table books", perfect for browsing through whilst enjoying a pre-theatre meal or cosy drink. During Chalet Lines, the room was decked out with garlands of multi-colored bulbs, echoing the Butlins chalet set! There was a lovely atmosphere in the room.
When transforming the library in to a theatre, the builders removed the foundation stone of the library and unearthed a time capsule. It included a copy of the West London Observer and Advertiser, dated 1895 and a hand written note by the library commissioner. The papers contained adverts, including a cure for drunkenness and The Bush hotel. The Bush has buried their own capsule.
The 140 seater theatre is a versatile space and much of the interior was recycled or home made from materials found on site. I loved the lob-sided set for Chalet Lines.

Theatrical loos: papered with old pages from different plays!

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