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Artistic Directors

Jane Edwardes (and Rachel Halliburton) from Time Out have done some interviews with recently appointed Artistic Directors. She forms a critical first impression of Natalie Abrahami and Carrie Cracknell, who are the Artistic Directors at the Gate.
She writes “I have to admit that when I came back from interviewing Natalie Abrahami and Carrie Cracknell, the young artistic directors at the Gate, the theatre above a pub in Notting Hill, my feeling was that if they were the future of British theatre, I didn’t want to know. There was far too much talk of ‘going on journeys’ and their references to ‘brave and bold decisions’ was in sharp contrast with an apparent desperation not to upset the theatre’s board by saying the wrong thing. It seemed a far cry from the charisma and drive of their predecessors, who include Stephen Daldry, Mick Gordon and Thea Sharrock. But to be fair, when your programme is still being finalised and can’t yet be talked about, it’s difficult to deal in anything but abstractions…

Everyone is entitled to opinions and first impressions make valid copy.

However, I would like to say, having worked with both of them at the Gate and Natalie previously that I think they will be brilliant there. Both strike me as thoughtful directors and I expect them to put on interesting and brilliant work.

Perhaps, as new ADs running a building for the first time they will have steep learning curves but I have no doubt they will fill the shoes of their illustrious predecessors.
Edwardes ends her article on a more upbeat note:
A week later with crucial contracts signed, Abrahami rings to tell me that Cracknell will be directing the first production, ‘The Sexual Neurosis of our Parents’, by Swiss playwright Lukas Bärfuss. She is then following it up with Fernando Arrabal’s ‘Car Cemetery’, which she describes as an ‘irreverent, exuberant absurdist play’, a celebration of the playwright’s seventy-fifth birthday. Given that Bärfuss has never been seen in this country before and that the Spanish playwright, Arrabal, has never been particularly popular, they are indeed ‘brave and bold decisions’ – and, of course, just what the Gate should be doing.

They also interview Josie Rourke (Bush, with the wrong photo image at the time of writing), Dominic Cooke (Royal Court), Lisa Goldman (Soho, again wrong photo), Paul Robinson & Tim Roseman (Theatre 503).
They gave a flavour of what each director may be looking for but I’m not sure they represent them that accurately in my opinion. Maybe.
Andrew Haydon also has an interesting take on it suggesting interviews are hard when there’s no track record.

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  • About me

    I'm a playwright and investment analyst. I have a broad range of interests: food, gardening, innovation & intellectual property, sustainability, architecture & design, writing and the arts. I sit on the board of Talawa Theatre Company and advise a CIS investment trust on socially responsible investments.

  • Recent Work

    Recent plays include, for theatre: Nakamitsu, Yellow Gentlemen, Lost in Peru, Lemon Love. For radio: Places in Between (R4), Patent Breaking Life Saving (WS).

  • Nakamitsu

  • Yellow Gentlemen