To mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, London's Bush Theatre premiered an epic 24-hour performance, providing 66 playwrights, poets, songwriters, and novelists - of all faiths and none, from over a dozen countries and across five continents - the opportunity to respond to some of the oldest stories ever told.
On November 16th, 2011, an extract from Anne Michaels' The Crossing was performed at Westminster Abbey's King James Bible Service for Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
Praise for Sixty-Six Books:
“Nothing short of miraculous. The written word has turned into the flesh of living theatre.” – The Times
“It’s a confection that embodies the ethos of the Bush, drawing together the talents of a fantastically wide spectrum of creative artists… Intelligently conceived... This is truly "event theatre”...this colossal homage is deliciously varied and inventive.” – Evening Standard
“It’s a fantastically ambitious project, proving the Bush has lost none of its chutzpah.” – Time Out
“Scattered with gems: some richly poetic, some delicately capturing the inarticulacies of modern-day speech and bewildering pain at cruelties human or divine.” – Independent on Sunday
“Fantastic, mesmerising, funny, unsettling, bewildering… an impressive collection which says much about our 21st century world.” – Magnet
“... a big, bold enterprise.. it makes you want to go to the book.” – The Guardian
“such a welter of writers and styles in short 15-minutes-or-less slices…. All were brilliantly performed. As Rourke remarked, in 24 hours we had seen more writers, directors and actors pass through the stage than we would see in four years. Seeing only one play in a night is going to seem very small beer after this.” – The Arts Desk
“a memorable achievement.. a major piece of work… not only celebrates this great piece of English literature [King James Bible] but is a wide ranging comment on our own times.” – British Theatre Guide
“In the beginning was the Bush and the Bush created Sixty-Six Books, an epic act…this was a thing you would remember being part of…. [an] appropriately hefty playtext.” – Exeunt Magazine
"Sixty-Six Books is an incredible achievement and a one off experience that it would be sacrilegious to miss." – What’s on stage