The Bush Theatre has announced its new Community Associate Companies as The Barons Court Project Women’s Group, led by Lead Artist Katie Duncan and Masbro Centre Tea Club, led by Lead Artist William Hudson.
Community Associate Companies are organisations working in the local community who form a long-term, collaborative, and creative relationship with the Bush Theatre. They are given the same resource, support, and status as the artistic companies the theatre works with. The Bush, alongside Lead Artists chosen by the companies, will develop a programme of regular artistic interventions and activities with these groups leading to a centerpiece project performed at the theatre. This is the third year of the Community Associate Company programme.
Holly Smith, the Bush Theatre’s Community Producer, said: ‘The Community Associate Companies is such an exciting project because it allows the Bush to create deep, meaningful and long lasting relationships with our communities. It’s an exciting opportunity to influence the artistic work of the Bush, as well as highlighting the voices of communities that are often not heard. The participants take a lot of ownership over the direction the project goes in which is a really special process to see and be a part of.’
The Barons Court Project is the only drop-in day centre for people who are homeless or living with mental health issues in Hammersmith and Fulham. The women’s group is a female-only peer support group allowing members to socialise and take part in trips and activities such as arts and crafts, relaxation and cookery. It runs weekly from the charity’s base in Barons Court. BCP will work alongside the Bush and lead artist Katie Duncan.
Masbro Centre Tea Club is a community service whose aim is to improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of the local community of Hammersmith and Fulham. The Tea Club is a weekly social group for local elders to take part in a variety of different activities, which are mainly focused on health and wellbeing. Masbro will work alongside the Bush and lead artist William Hudson.
Katie Duncan (Lead Artist) is a scriptwriter, creative arts facilitator and musician from South London. She has extensive experience of developing and delivering creative and participatory arts workshops within an array of community, educational and arts settings including The Albany, Bush Theatre, The Old Vic, Roundhouse and Wigmore Hall – and at festivals including Glastonbury, Shambala, and Wilderness, where she has also performed as a musician. Katie regularly collaborates on projects with the theatre company Tangled Feet, and as a writer, she is a graduate of both the Young Writers Programme at the Royal Court, and the Writers Lab at Arcola. Her writing is concerned with integrating the personal with the political; exploring the social issues that underpin the drama of our everyday lives, and she has had work staged at various places including Rich Mix, Tara Arts, and the Edinburgh Festival. Earlier this year her play The Dame was staged at The Park Theatre, and a screenplay she has co-written entitled Bare is currently in pre-production with Raindog Films.
William Hudson (Lead Artist) is a theatre-maker and facilitator based in London, who has been working for over 15 years in the fields of participatory arts and ensemble theatre, both in the UK and abroad. His work is strongly informed by European and contemporary actor training and through international collaborations with Declan Donnellan of Cheek By Jowl, Anne Bogart of SITI Company New York, the National Theatre of Spain and Jeremy James of Theatre du Soleil.
In a participatory context, Will’s focus is on nurturing people’s creativity and confidence through devising original works of artistic excellence. In London he has partnered with a wide range of theatres and organisations including The Old Vic, Kiln, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, Outside Edge Theatre, Turning Point, Paddington Development Trust, Working with Men, amongst many others.