Guards at the Taj to open at newly refurbished Bush Theatre, London

Guards at the Taj at the Bush Theatre 7 April to 20 May 2017. Credit Marc Brenner

Guards at the Taj at the Bush Theatre 7 April to 20 May 2017. Credit Marc Brenner.

Jamie Lloyd directs the Guards at the Taj, written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph, which is to open at the newly refurbished Bush Theatre in London. The £4.3 million, year-long revitalisation of the venue by award-winning architects Haworth Tompkins has turned an old library built at the turn of the 20th Century into a fully accessible, modernised cultural building.

Upon re-opening, the new building will be more sustainable and entirely accessible, with a new entrance, front-of-house area and exterior garden terrace to the main street. A new studio space and attic rehearsal room will allow the Bush to work with a further 200 artists each year and allow over 50% increase in produced, co-produced and commissioned productions. This is a remarkable growth for the theatre since moving from above a pub on Shepherd’s Bush Green in 2011.

The Bush redevelopment has been driven by the aim of realising Artistic Director Madani Younis’ vision for a theatre that reflects the diversity and vibrancy of London today. The new building will nurture, develop and showcase the best of new artists and their work; reflecting local, national and international communities and encouraging the diversification of artists and artistic leadership in the UK. The new studio will become a home for emerging artists and producers including associate artists Milk Presents, Deafinitely Theatre and ANTLER. They will work alongside three Project 2036 practitioners (a programme that will offer a Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee playwright, director and producer a £10,000 bursary each year) and the Bush’s Emerging Writers’ Group.

Bush Theatre Madani Younis

Madani Younis, Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre said, “Following this landmark capital project, we couldn’t be more excited to re-open our building to the world. We’re looking forward to welcoming audiences old and new to this incredible space. It was important to me that we re-open with a week of celebrations that embrace the diversity of the world we live in. ‘Black Lives, Black Words’ is a bold statement about one of the most important movements of our time: #BlackLivesMatter. This, followed by Rajiv Joseph’s award-winning ‘Guards at the Taj’ directed by Jamie Lloyd, sets the tone of the stories we want to tell in our beautiful new home.

Guards at the Taj
7 April – 20 May 2017

Jamie Lloyd directs the European premiere of Guards at the Taj, written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph and designed by Soutra Gilmour. Danny Ashok will play Humayun and Darren Kuppan will play Babur. Guards at the Taj takes an enduring legend about the Taj Mahal and prompts audiences to explore questions about art, privilege and duty. The play premiered at the Atlantic Theater in New York to great acclaim in 2015 and is the recipient of both the Obie Award for Best New American Play and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play.

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