Things feel less like a tour and more like a proper immersive performance once you get directed into the ladies' toilets and each pick up an MP3 player and headphones. From now on each audience member largely gets their own experience, the group sometimes reassembles and the various intructions cleverly interweave (sometimes you're asked to hold a door open for a member of your group who'll be along in a few moments; and there they come) but at other times you get a room to yourself and some multimedia ways of telling you about its history. The narration is built around interviews with creatives who share their memories of working in the cramped spaces; the most prolific contributors include Samuel Barnett, Jonathan Harvey, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Michelle Terry and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, with Alan Rickman's voice occasionally booming into earshot. Streatfeild proves good with an anecdote while Terry turns out to have an, er, interestingly scatological turn of phrase. It builds up to recreating the experience of an actor entering onto the stage itself and some thoughts on the many staging configurations the venue's seen over the years (the new venue is bigger and more flexible, but there's something more exciting about places like the old Bush and the Gate which seem to create an impossible variety of stagings in what looks like a very limiting space.) It's a rather touching farewell to a building that's held many memories that does frequently threaten to drift into the self-indulgently sentimental (the attempts to make you sad about the fact that this is your last visit to the space are heavy-handed) but mostly stops short of that; and quite apart from the specific place it's built around, feels like an interesting reminder of the way people can form such strong emotional attachments to buildings and the memories in them.
this is where we got to when you came in by non zero one and Elinor Cook is booking until the 30th of September at the (old) Bush Theatre.