Action Man Brogan

Actor swims, cycles and runs to raise money for The Bush

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Actor Brogan West is to take part in the Mazda London Triathlon next month to raise money for The Bush theatre.

The event on 2nd August, will see West swim 1500m, run 10km and complete a 40km bike ride in a bid to raise funds for the W12 venue.

West, who recently starred in the drama series 'Locked Up Abroad' on the National Geographic Channel and 'The Poisoner's Tale' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2008 says he is a great admirer of The Bush.

“The Bush has a fantastic reputation for new writing and working with new talent, both acting and writing. I first auditioned for them in 2005 and unfortunately, didn't get the part, but I visit The Bush as often as I can. For such a small theatre, The Bush has an impact on the industry that way out-measures the dimensions of its stage. It is world-renowned as a talisman of new and exciting work and is constantly giving something back.”

The Bush, along with nearly 200 other theatres and music companies, was nearly forced to close down last year after the Arts Council of England (ACE) threatened to cut its funding. As part of a campaign to save the threatened venues, 500 of the country's top actors passed an unprecedented vote of no confidence in the ACE, prompting the organisation to rethink its decision.

West says the funding crisis played a part in his decision to want to raise money for The Bush. “I was at the Equity meeting that took an historic vote of 'no confidence' in the ACE,” he says. “The Bush subsequently got its funding back - a close call! So, in 2009 when I was looking for a new challenge, having done the London Marathon for the Actors' Charitable Trust, and an Ironman in 2008, I fancied doing something a bit shorter in distance! The Bush is a registered charity on the London Triathlon website so I got in touch with them. It is my opportunity to raise some money for them, hopefully not only this year but in many more events and years to come. I may even get a job out of it!”

The Bush is one of nearly 100 charities that are being supported by athletes in the 2009 Mazda London Triathlon. Over 8,000 people are expected to take part in the event on 1-2 August, making it the largest triathlon on the world.

West says it is not the first time that he is taking part in a challenging athletic event: “Actors have a reputation over history as good-time people, drinkers, etc. This is a myth I constantly try to dispel. For me, doing these events, like 'The Three Peaks' which I completed two weeks ago in 21hrs 48mins, and the Channel Swim which I would like to do in 2010, is a way of challenging my competitiveness and energy into something else when it cannot always manifest itself in acting jobs. It becomes an addiction, to go faster for longer. Furthermore, to add value to ourselves and what we are capable of in an industry that does not always recognise those values, or at least does not always offer us the chance to show them off.”

The Artistic Director of The Bush, Josie Rourke, has paid tribute to West's efforts: “On behalf of everyone here at The Bush, a huge thanks for your heroic fundraising efforts for the theatre. The Bush team will be there to cheer you on.”


July 8, 2009

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