Bush Theatre artistic loses two directors10:30, 28th September 2018
Madani Younis has announced that he is stepping down as artistic director and chief executive of the Bush Theatre to take up the position of creative director at the Southbank Centre in the new year. The Bush’s associate director Omar Elerian is also set to leave following his production of Going Through in spring next year.
Regarding his departure, Younis says: ‘My time at the Bush Theatre is undoubtedly one of my proudest achievements to date. The Bush invested in a vision that celebrated not just the best of theatre but the best of our country’s inherent culture. The result was a more reflective community of artists and a breadth of new audiences that represent the diversity of the city around us. None of what we’ve achieved would have happened without the deep, thoughtful commitment of so many. I want to thank the board, the staff team, our generous supporters and stakeholders who all invested in that vision and allowed us to create a depth of experience both on and off stage. I’ll forever be in their debt. I’m also thrilled to have had the opportunity to have worked with executive director Lauren Clancy, someone whose values and vision has shaped and informed the vision of the Bush.’
Younis has been in the position since 2012 and his tenure saw the Bush experience radical growth. His time at the Bush was marked by a commitment to growing an audience – something he accomplished by tripling the theatre’s capacity and producing culturally diverse theatre. In 2016, he oversaw the second phase of the theatre’s £4.3m redevelopment which, along with increasing the theatre’s capacity to 190 seats, added a second performance space, a rehearsal studio, a café bar, a terrace garden and a playtext library.
His last season saw the theatre exceed its box office and audience records thanks to productions such as: Monica Dolan’s The B*easts, which was nominated for an Olivier; a revival of Winsome Pinnock’s Leave Taking; and Arinzé Kene’s smash hit Misty, which transferred to the West End in September. Beyond London, the Bush has also seen wider acclaim with productions transferring to the USA and a 2017 production of NASSIM currently touring internationally. In September, Younis directed his final play at the Bush, An Adventure by Vinay Patel, which is described as the theatre’s most ambitious show to date.
Lauren Clancy, the aforementioned executive director says: ‘I’m thrilled that Madani has such an exciting next step in his career as creative director of the Southbank Centre. He leaves an impressive and inspirational legacy that has shaped the Bush Theatre and those individuals that have been lucky enough to work alongside him. I look forward to building on the Bush’s success as we write our next chapter.’
Applications for Younis’s replacement close on 30 September so an announcement regarding his successor is expected to be made soon. Elerian’s position is being hired for in the new year, with applications being made through the theatre’s website.