The new year at west London’s home of new writing, the Bush Theatre, will have a distinctly Celtic feel thanks to a production from Dublin’s Rough Magic theatre company and a world premiere care of Scottish writer Sharman Macdonald, which plays in Edinburgh and London.

The season opens on 14 January 2005 (previews 12 January) with the new play from Kay Adshead, entitled Bites. With settings as diverse as Texas, Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan, Bites is billed as “a shocking, impassioned feast of love, death and revenge in seven ‘courses’”.

This is the Bush’s second co-production with Mamma Quillo theatre company, the first being Adshead’s play, The Bogus Woman. Bites is directed by Lisa Goldman, of Red Room theatre company, who also directed Adshead’s The Bogus Woman and Animal. Bites runs until 5 February 2005.

From 11 February to 5 March (previews 8 February), the Bush hosts Dublin’s new writing company Rough Magic and its production of Take Me Away. A dark comedy about the collapse of family life in modern Ireland, it was written by Gerald Murphy and enjoyed a successful run at the Traverse Theatre as part of this year’s Edinburgh Festival. It’s directed by Lynne Parker and stars Joe Hanley, Vincent McCabe and Barry Ward.

The Bush’s world premiere co-production of Sharman Macdonald’s The Girl with the Red Hair will open first in Edinburgh, where it runs at the Lyceum Theatre from 17 February to 12 March 2005 (See News, 29 Sep 2004). In the new play, directed by Bush artistic director Mike Bradwell, three generations are profoundly affected by the death of 17-year-old Roslyn one summer in a small town on the west coast of Scotland.

Macdonald’s first play When I was a Girl I used to Scream and Shout premiered at the Bush in 1984 and won her the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright award. After Edinburgh, The Girl with the Red Hair is due to have a London run, though exact dates have yet to be confirmed.

- by Hannah Kennedy