National appoints first woman director

Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director The Kiln in Kilburn, is to succeed Rufus Norris at the National Theatre, becoming its first female leader in its 61 years.

After a period as director designate she will take over in 2025 as the National’s seventh director, and first person of colour to have the job, working alongside executive director Kate Varah.

Damon Buffini, the National’s chairman, said Rubasingham has “a proven record of strong leadership and artistic success alongside a commitment to bring theatre to diverse audiences and broadening access to creative education”. At The Kiln she has directed The Wife of Willesden, Pass Over, White Teeth, Red Velvet and Handbagged 

She took over at the Tricycle Theatre from Nicolas Kent in 2012, saw through a £9m renovation which was completed in 2018, and renamed it The Kiln. Her mission there, she said, was to make space for unheard and ignored voices to be part of the mainstream, and to champion imagination, aspiration and potential as a community theatre with an international scope. Foer the National she has already directed The Father and the Assassin, The Great Wave, Ugly Lies the Bone, The Motherf**cker with the Hat, The Ramayana and The Waiting Room 

“Throughout the recruitment process” Buffini said “Indhu demonstrated to the panel her clear vision for the National Theatre’s next chapter, displaying her passion and commitment to bring the world to the National Theatre and to take the National Theatre to the world.”

Picture credit Mark Douet

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