As part of the Bush Theatre’s 32 Degrees West Season – the angle from the front door of the company’s current home of 39 years, to the new home at the old Library in Shepherd’s Bush where they will relocate this autumn – the company is to stage Where’s My Seat. Ahead of the building’s inaugural season later this year, the company is throwing open the doors of the new venue and inviting the public to play a part in the transformation of the space, from library to theatre.
Tamara Harvey directs Francesca Annis, Debbie Chazen, Richard Cordery, Hugo Speer, Hugh Skinner and Nina Sosanya across three plays penned using stage directions by Alan Ayckbourn,Michael Grandage and the Bush Theatre’s Artistic Director Josie Rourke. The playwrights, Deirdre Kinahan, Jack Thorne and Tom Wells have taken the stage directions of the theatre practitioners - which were inspired by nine props chosen by the National Theatre – and written a play especially for the event, each to be staged in a different layout.
Over the course of the evening, the audience will see the three short plays. During the first interval, as the stage is reconfigured, the audience will be invited to examine the front of house area and bar in more detail and feed back their thoughts; and during the second the company will open up the backstage areas, rehearsal room, garden and invite the audience to test these areas, and comment on the use of space within the new building. The feedback gathered will be collated and utilised for the first stage of the conversion into a working theatre this autumn.
The props donated by the National Theatre are two stuffed hares, a 30cm strawberry, a mask, a coal scuttle, basketball, dog with moving head, glass cabinet, a necklace made of human fingers and a blue wooden aeroplane.