Young director hopes to emulate Billy Elliot success


A director who already has a string of stage hits to her name has been appointed to a prestigious post at London’s Young Vic theatre.

Natalie Abrahami, whose recent production of After Miss Julie was praised by critics, has been chosen as the associate director at the Waterloo venue under the Genesis Fellowship scheme to encourage young theatre talent.

The two-year posting will give her the opportunity to direct her own projects at one of the country’s most original theatres, as well as work closely with artistic director David Lan.

Ms Abrahami, whose directing experience began with a Cambridge University production of Arthur Miller’s Kristallnacht play Broken Glass, has Israeli parents and speaks Hebrew.

After five years as the co-artistic director of the Gate Theatre in London, — where Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry also honed his craft — Ms Abrahami said she was looking forward to working at the larger venue.

She trained at the Young Vic and said she considers Mr Lan as a mentor.

“He has been running this theatre innovatively for a decade so it’s really exciting to be involved,” she said. “It’s a wonderful learning experience.”

Ms Abrahami added that she hoped to follow in Mr Daldry’s footsteps and work in a variety of media, including opera and film. “I have a short attention span — having lots of different projects on the go is great,” she joked.

The director added that she would welcome the chance to work with international theatre companies, including those from Israel.

“That would be something I would very much enjoy,” she said.

She responded robustly to culture secretary Maria Miller’s recent call that the arts should demonstrate their economic worth.

“The arts do contribute to the economy. I feel that we have already shown that. Particularly with the cultural Olympiad last year — that made the case so clear.”

Mr Lan said he was delighted to welcome Ms Abrahami back to the Young Vic.

“After Miss Julie demonstrated her powers as a director. I know it was just one illustration of what she will go on to achieve.”

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