Indhu Rubasingham Will Be Next Director of London's National Theatre | Playbill

International News Indhu Rubasingham Will Be Next Director of London's National Theatre

Rubasingham will succeed Rufus Norris.

Indhu Rubasingham Antonio Olmos

Indhu Rubasingham, the artistic director of the Kiln Theatre since 2012, has been named the next director and joint chief executive of London's National Theatre. She will succeed Rufus Norris, who will depart those positions in spring 2025 when his second term ends.

Rubasingham, who will join the National in spring 2024 as director designate, will work alongside Executive Director Kate Varah, who also becomes joint chief executive in a co-leadership model.

In her tenure at the Kiln, Rubasingham's notable collaborations included working with Zadie Smith on White Teeth and with Ayad Aktar on The Invisible Hand; plus The Wife of Willesden, which transferred to BAM earlier this year. She has also worked regularly at the National, directing productions including The Waiting Room, The Ramayana, The Motherf*cker With the Hat, The Great Wave, Ugly Lies the Bone, Kerry Jackson, and The Father and the Assassin, which returned to the Olivier earlier this year.

Rubasingham said in a statement, "It’s a huge honor to be appointed director of the National Theatre—for me, this is the best job in the world. The National has played an important part in my life—from tentative steps as a teenage theatregoer, to later as a theatre-maker, and to have the opportunity to play a role in its history is an incredible privilege and responsibility. Theatre has a transformative power—the ability to bring people together through shared experience and storytelling, and nowhere more so than the National. I’ve been fortunate to have directed on the National Theatre’s stages and to have witnessed firsthand the commitment, collaboration, brilliance, and pride of those who bring the magic to the building, both on stage and off. There’s nowhere like it, and it will be a joy to be a part of this iconic building’s next chapter, leading the company alongside Kate. I am thrilled to be following in the footsteps of Rufus, and I look forward to working closely with him from next year as I plan my first season."

Director and Chief Executive Norris added, "Indhu is an exceptional artist who I respect and admire hugely, and I am so pleased that she will become the next director when I step down in 2025. She has run Kiln Theatre expertly for over a decade, and I know this experience will be invaluable as she moves to the NT—a place she knows well, having directed successfully in each of the three theatres. Together with Kate and the brilliant, dedicated team here, I know that the National will continue to thrive and remain at the heart of British cultural life. I look forward to working closely with Indhu over my last year as director."

The recruitment process began earlier this year following Norris' decision to step down. The National worked with external recruitment consultants Saxton Bampfylde and appointed a succession panel. Sir Damon Buffini and NT Board member Simon Warshaw co-chaired the panel, which included Sheila Atim, Dominic Cooke, Vikki Heywood, Vicki Mortimer, and Farrah Storr. Neil Darlison (Arts Council England) observed the process.

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