Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Reminder of Revamped Theatre's Magic

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Reminder of Revamped Theatre's Magic

Article excerpt

Byline: Alistair Foster'showbiz news and gossip @alistair_foster

FIRST NIGHT GUARDS AT THE TAJ Bush Theatre, W12 HENRY HITCHINGS THE Bush, a theatre renowned for championing playwrights, has had a significant makeover. Now more accessible, it boasts an inviting entrance and sunny terrace as well as a new studio space. After a year-long closure and a PS4.3 million bill it reopens with the British premiere of an American play that, aptly enough, ponders the price of beauty.

Rajiv Joseph's two-hander takes its inspiration from the story that in the 17th century Shah Jahan, who commissioned the Taj Mahal as a memorial to his favourite wife, ordered that the hands of the craftsmen involved should be cut off. This was so that they could never attempt to create anything of equal beauty. It's a myth, but a suggestive one -- introducing ideas about power and exploitation that resonate today.

Old friends Babur and Humayun are low-level workers protecting the Taj's building site. …

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