Due to popular demand and increasing ticket sales, west London’s Bush Theatre has introduced 3pm Saturday matinees for its new summer/autumn season, which includes new plays by Dennis Kelly, Simon Burt and Jack Thorne, as well as a programme of rehearsed readings.

Following previews in London from 27 to 29 July 2005, Dennis Kelly’s After the End, a drama about the aftermath of an explosion in a pub, will visit the Edinburgh Festival while the Shepherds Bush venue is dark for annual maintenance. The co-production with touring company Paines Plough, directed by Roxana Silbert, will then return to the Bush from 14 September (preview 13 September) to 8 October 2005. Kelly caused a stir earlier this summer with the premiere of his Osama the Hero at Hampstead Theatre.

After the End is followed, from 14 October (previews from 12 October) to 12 November 2005, by the world premiere of Bottle Universe. The play by Simon Burt - whose first play, Untouchable, was presented at the Bush in 2002 - follows the story of an unlikely friendship between two unhappy schoolchildren. It’s directed by Sue Dunderdale.

When You Cure Me by award-winning playwright Jack Thorne is at the venue from 18 November (previews from 16 November) to 17 December 2005. Rachel and Peter have been going out for six months. Then Rachel gets ill, and doesn’t want the attentions of her mother or friends, just Peter. Peter doesn’t know what he wants, but he thinks he can make Rachel better. The play, directed by Bush artistic director Mike Bradwell, is billed as “a bittersweet tale of love and misunderstanding”.

In addition to the main, full-scale productions, the Bush will host its third “Try These on for Size” season of rehearsed readings, which opens the autumn schedule from 5 to 10 September 2005.

The four new plays presented for readings are: Simon Bent’s After You, tracing the effects of the Boxing Day tsunami in south-east Asia on an English family; Georgia Fitch’s comedy about two women and lots of alcohol, How Do You Like Yer Eggs, Luv?; Tony Bicat’s 1944-set Whale Meat Again; and the latest Recorded Delivery piece devised and directed by Alecky Blythe (Come Out Eli), Cruising, an investigation into Saga cruises and ballroom dancing.

- by Caroline Ansdell