Bible-based marathon launches new venue

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, U.S. playwrights Christopher Shinn and Neil LaBute, lyricist Tim Rice and the Archbishop of Canterbury will collaborate on “Sixty-Six Books,” a theatrical epic based on the King James Bible produced by U.K. new writing center The Bush.

Show will headline the company’s inaugural season in its new West London home.

“Sixty-Six Books” comprises individual and contemporary responses to King James Bible published in English for the first time 400 years ago this year. Josie Rourke, outgoing a.d., will lead a team of directors presenting the works of 100 contributors in three-hour segs, six-hour chunks and two epic 24-hour events presenting all 66 texts. The project runs Oct. 10 – 29 with an Oct. 14 press night.

The season’s other highlights are two world preems from emerging talents. “The Kitchen Sink,” a drama of dreams and dirty dishes by Bush associate Tom Wells, will be helmed by Tamara Harvey. It runs Nov. 16-Dec. 17 with a Nov. 23 press night.

“Our New Girl,” by Nancy Harris, is a thriller about the arrival of a nanny and the dark side of parenthood. It runs Jan 12 – Feb. 11, with a Jan. 17 press night.The season sees the company move from its cramped home above a pub to a newly configured venue housing a flexible auditorium, rehearsal room, playtext library, offices and bar/cafe. The premises, a former library, are being converted by Steve Tomkins of the theater architecture firm Haworth Tomkins, whose previous rebuilds include the Young Vic, Royal Court and Regent’s Park Open Air theaters.

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