Sixty-Six Books was the inaugural show in the Bush Theatre’s new home, an ambitious project celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. A cycle of sixty-six new works were commissioned – plays, poems, stories and songs – each of which provide a contemporary response to the themes, stories and ideas in one of the sixty-six books of the Bible. Together they represent an unprecedented commissioning cycle in terms of the scale, range and quality of the writers involved. They include: Archbishop Rowan Williams, Neil Labute, Wole Soyinka, Jackie Kay, David Edgar, Kwame Kwei Armah, Andrew Motion, Michael Rosen, Carol Ann Duffy and Billy Bragg.
I recorded and produced twelve of the writer’s responses for inclusion in an installation that used modifed telephone boxes as interactive listening stations. Users could select, and listen to the twelve responses at their leisure. The phone boxes include responses from Andrew Motion, Jackie Kay, Billly Bragg, Laura Dockrill and Michael Rosen. There were four phone boxes located outside the Bush Theatre, in the foyer of the National Theatre, at Foyles Boookshop on the Southbank and in the West 12 Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush.
The complete cycle of works was performed at the Bush Theatre and Westminster Abbey from the 10-29th October, 2011. The phone boxes were accessible throughout this period, during the opening hours of the respective venues. Sixty-Six Books was commissioned by Sound and Music and the Bush Theatre, London in 2011.