The Bush Theatre has announced Lynette Linton as its new artistic director from January 2019. Linton will succeed the current artistic director Madani Younis who announced in September his appointment as creative director of the Southbank Centre. She will work alongside executive director Lauren Clancy.
The role is one of the most coveted in British theatre and Linton called it ‘a great honour’. She said today:
“The Bush Theatre is such an important venue and I have seen some of my favourite ever plays in this building. I am so honoured to be stepping into this role after the amazing tenure of Madani Younis, who has been an inspiration to me from the beginning of my career. I cannot wait to lead an exciting new chapter inspired by all the wonderful artists that populate our unique city. Come we go!”
Madani Younis said: “Lynette is undoubtedly a fantastic choice for the Bush. I’ve admired her for a long time and it’s been a pleasure to watch her grow as a director and an artist and her work shows a real commitment to the theatre’s values. I think she’ll write an amazing next chapter in the Bush’s history.”
Lynette Linton is a director and writer. She was previously resident assistant director at the Donmar Warehouse and associate director at the Gate Theatre from 2016 to 2017 where she set up the Young Associate company. She is currently directing the UK premiere of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Sweat (Donmar Warehouse) and will then co-direct Richard II (Shakespeare’s Globe) in early 2019. The production will mark the first ever company of women of colour in a Shakespeare play on a major UK stage.
She is the co-founder of theatre and film production company Black Apron Entertainment who is producing Passages: A Windrush Celebration with the Royal Court, a project she also curated. As a writer, her credits include Hashtag Lightie (Arcola Theatre), Chicken Palace and Step (Theatre Royal Stratford East).
Chair of the Bush Theatre, Simon Johnson, said: “In searching for a new artistic director for the Bush Theatre, the board of trustees looked for an individual who moved and inspired us; a leader who is willing to fight for what we stand for and who is unswerving in their commitment to nurturing new writing and new artists. Lynette Linton has these qualities in abundance. I can’t wait to see her build on the momentum of Madani’s tenure to continue to raise the scale, profile and impact of our remarkable theatre both artistically and socially.”
This year has seen the Bush Theatre celebrate a West End transfer for Arinzé Kene’s Misty, which has now been seen by almost 30,000 people and been nominated for an Evening Standard award for Best Musical Performance, an Olivier Award nomination for Monica Dolan’s The B*easts and the ongoing worldwide success of its touring production of NASSIM which opens in New York in December.
Other celebrated work includes Winsome Pinnock’s Leave Taking, Vinay Patel’s An Adventure and Ben Weatherill’s ground-breaking Jellyfish. The 2018 programme has seen a 40% increase in attendance on the previous year, with 52% of the audience visiting the venue for the first time.