Bush Appoints Madani Younis as New Artistic DirectorDate: 6 July 2011
British-Asian theatremaker Madani Younis has been appointed as the new artistic director of west London’s new writing powerhouse the Bush Theatre. He will take over on 1 January 2012 from Josie Rourke, who’s leaving to succeed Michael Grandage as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse.
Younis, 31, is currently artistic director of Freedom Studios in Bradford, Yorkshire, a company the Bush has been collaborating with the Bush for the past two years on the online facility for writers - www.bushgreen.org, a collaboration that culminated in a two-week residency for Freedom at the Bush in 2010.
Younis’ most recent work for Freedom in Bradford was the site-specific piece The Mill – City of Dreams. Prior to Freedom, in 2002, he was appointed as the director of Red Ladder Theatre Company’s Asian Theatre School, for whom he staged seven productions, many of which toured the UK: Streets of Rage, Silent Cry, Freeworld, Caravan, Freefalling, A Waiting Room for Journeying Souls and Doors.
Younis has also worked nationally and internationally as a theatre director, writer and practitioner. He originally trained in film, and his debut short film Ellabellapumpanella, commissioned by the UK Film Council, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2007. In 2006, he was the recipient of the Arts Council’s Decibel Award, for diversity in performing arts, at the South Bank Awards show.
The Bush moves from its 80-seat room above a pub, where it’s resided for the past 38 years, to newly renovated facilities around the corner at the old Shepherd’s Bush Library in October, with the inaugural production of Sixty-Six Books, responses to the King James’ Bible’s 400th anniversary this year, running from 14 to 29 October 2011 (previews from 10 October).
Commenting on his new position heading the company into the new era, Younis said: “I am delighted and honoured to be joining the Bush Theatre at this significant time in its history. During the past two years, through my work at Freedom Studios, I have had the privilege to build a strong working relationship with the Bush in supporting the development of new writers, and I look forward to continuing that work, and building the company’s future in its new home.”
Outgoing artistic director Josie Rourke said: “This is a deeply inspiring appointment at a big moment in the Bush’s history. I have been delighted with the Bush’s collaborations with Madani and Freedom Studios over the past two years. It’s wonderful to know that in its 40th year, and its new home, the Bush will receive such brilliant leadership.”
Bush chair Nick Starr added: “In Madani the Bush has found an artistic director with the confidence, vision and leadership to take the company forwards. It’s an exciting appointment and I very much look forward to working with him.”