Work Experience Diary | Lily: “The ethos of the company is constant re-invention”
A theatre, more than any other work space, is one where creatives in every field come together to achieve the social vision of political change. What I have always loved about the Bush is their focus on youth participation, and the way in which their plays breathe fresh air into the canon of British theatre.
A lot of establishments in London especially, are caught in the tourist-trap mindset of constantly staging adaptations of well-known playwrights – making it almost impossible for new writers to be seen in the most famous theatres. As an 18 year old, I felt immediately welcome within the Bush community not only from the large number of young people who have jobs here but also due to the ethos of the company which is constant re-invention.
‘What I have always loved about the Bush is their focus on youth participation, and the way in which their plays breathe fresh air into the canon of British theatre.’
On my first day, I observed the devising process of the 14-17 Young Company who were incredibly calm and collected thanks to the guidance of their directors (Abigail Sol and Katie Greenall), despite the fact they only have 11 days to learn and stage a 1 hour play (Kwame Owusu’s HORIZON – find out more here). Significantly, the Bush has given them an extremely valuable amount of acting exposure both through their public shows and through the coaching they receive. Not only is inspiring actors a focus, but the writing groups I was able to observe as well were bursting with talent for improvisation as they were constantly given new stimuli and a short amount of time within the session to work with.
‘The Bush produce critically-acclaimed pieces of work which have inspired me personally to pursue playwriting.’
Throughout the week I was given a vast amount of varying tasks ranging from all departments: marketing, finance, literary, and community outreach. What I learnt most during this experience which surprised me was the amount of money the Bush have to fundraise as part of their status as a charity – one which is constantly trying to serve the community. (Their ticket revenue and grants only cover up to 70% of their needed income – find out more). Despite their tight budgets, the Bush are able to produce critically-acclaimed pieces of work which have inspired me personally to pursue playwriting.
Overall, I am very grateful that I was given the opportunity to be able to experience the inner-workings of London’s most vibrant theatre, especially given how difficult it is to break into such a competitive industry.
The Bush Theatre host 12 West-London based students on week-long work experience placements throughout the summer months, through direct referrals from local schools and our partners Changing Education.
If you would like to express interest in joining the Bush’s work experience in 2023, please email our Community team on [email protected].