Arts of the UK 2020: Bush Theatre reopens with Travis Alabanza’s ‘Overflow’
LONDON – Overflow, a hilarious and devastating tour of women’s bathrooms by acclaimed writer and performer Travis Alabanza (Jubilee, Burgerz), will be the first public performance at the Bush following national restrictions.
Overflow is a monologue and will be presented in line with government guidelines and with social distancing measures in place. Transgender actress, writer, and poetReece Lyons will perform the role of Rosie in Overflow. Directed by Debbie Hannan (incoming co-Artistic Director of the Traverse Theatre) it opens on 8th December in the Bush’s Holloway Theatre.
‘Club toilets have taught me more about sisterhood than any book’
Cornered into a flooding toilet cubicle and determined not to be rescued again, Rosie distracts herself with memories of bathroom encounters, drunken heart-to-hearts by dirty sinks, friendships forged in front of crowded mirrors, and hiding from trouble.
But with her panic rising and no help on its way, can she keep her head above water?
From internationally acclaimed writer and one of the UK’s most prominent trans voices, Travis Alabanza (Burgerz), comes a hilarious and devastating tour of women’s bathrooms.
Lynette Linton, Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre said: ‘I’m proud and excited to be announcing that we are back on stage at the Bush Theatre. With ‘Overflow’ we continue to produce work that reflects and interrogates our society and we are honoured to be producing Travis Alabanza’s latest play. I want to give a shout-out to our amazing team at the Bush and our wider community of freelance theatre makers who have worked so hard and so quickly to realise Travis’ extraordinary vision. The Bush is back. Come we go!’
Writer Travis Alabanza said: ‘I feel so excited to have my next show ‘Overflow‘ at a theatre like the Bush, with a director as incredible as Debbie and a lead as talented as Reece Lyons. The last five years have seen such a horrifying increase in how this country treats trans people, so it feels deeply important to create work and art that allows us to take up space on main stages, and tell our own stories. With so much of the media, political landscape, and online sphere dominated by people speaking for us, art and performance is a place for us to take back the mic and speak on our terms – with all the different shades and textures that comes with. I am so excited for ‘Overflow’ to be part of the ever-growing and vibrant trans theatrical canon.’
The charity Stonewall estimates that around 1 percent of the population might identify as trans or non-binary. That would mean about 600,000 trans and non-binary people in Britain, out of a population of over 60 million. Transgender Awareness Week, which begins on Friday 13 November, helps raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people and address the issues the community faces. The week ends on 20 November with the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The Bush have also announced a new, temporary pricing structure in light of the current pandemic. Young people and those living and working in the Shepherd’s Bush area can buy tickets in all areas of the auditorium for £10 when they join the Bush Connect and Bush Local free membership schemes. A concessionary rate of £5 off the full ticket price is available for access patrons and an allocation of £10 tickets will be made available to theatre freelancers via networks including the Bush Theatre’s Freelancer Forum and Freelancers Make Theatre Work. Priority booking is now available for Write the Bush’s Future donors and Bush supporters as a thank you for their vital financial support over the last 8 months.
Social distancing means the Bush can only sell a small percentage of their usual tickets which hugely reduces income. A new initiative ‘Buy An Empty Seat’ invites audiences to donate £20 for one of the empty seats and in doing so help safeguard the Bush’s future. The Bush has also announced that they will be filming Overflow and with more details about the digital release in the coming weeks.
Overflow runs from 8th to 22nd December 2020 at the Bush Theatre. Tickets and more information available here