Review: Bush Bazaar
The Bush Bazaar was touted as a marketplace of theatre, with each act competing for your attention – and your spare change. The Bazaar project launched at the Brush Theatre, a quaint building hiding around the corner from the tube station. The idea? A building filled with performance running to its own schedule, as you wandered round seeing what you wanted when you wanted.
But we found it was less about them bartering for your attention, but much more about how much of the peculiar world you can fit in to an evening. Popping in and out of different performance spaces, the show was busy and hectic. We even went twice in order to catch everything.
The entire building was taken over, giving the night a feeling of stepping into an alternative world. In every cranny of the building are performances – some scheduled in rooms, and some that launch into actions in the stairwells and corridors without warning. Even the toilets indulged in the peculiar world of the Bazaar and weren’t safe from outbursts of acting.
Throughout the night, characters refused to drop out of character and milled around the building in the performance breaks. As a Texan bargeded past us carrying crates down the stairs with a suspicious swagger, a dashing lady in a red dress, hazily dancing with a partner in braces gave me a note and a wink after catching me staring at her 1940s get-up. “Meet me in the attic in 10-15 min” it said, prompting us to step back in history up on the third floor.
We went on the hottest night of summer. A night that left us sweating in the top of the building, ignoring the unpleasantness to catch a show about Justin Bieber being kidnapped or the excellent ‘Meat’: a blindfolded radio-style play pumping out the smell of meat and starring a family forced to eat a relative to gain an inheritance.
In the best way possible, it reminded me of shows that let you enter a completely new place without thinking about it too much. The Crystal Maze of performance, if you will.
I think the most surprising thing for me was that this delight took place over in Shepherd’s Bush; a place I’d never have pegged for one of my favourite night outs in London. (Sorry Shepherd’s Bush). Alas, the show night are now over but I’d recommend keeping a keen eye on the Bush Theatre for future productions – it’s fast become one of my favourite West London performance places. / Claire Tayler