Winner 2005

Natalie Abrahami

Production: Play and Not I by Samuel Beckett


Natalie was Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill from 2007-2012.

She left Christ's College, Cambridge with a First in English Literature before joining the Royal Court as a Graduate Trainee. Most recently she was Associate Director at the Young Vic (2013 - 2016) and their Genesis Fellow (2013 - 2015). Natalie was also an Associate Artist at the Nuffield Southampton Theatres (2013 - 2015) and Associate Director at Hull Truck (2012).

At the Gate, Natalie commissioned and directed: Anthony Weigh’s new version of Lorca’s Yerma in co-production with Hull Truck; Lorrie Moore’s How To Be An Other Woman; Nancy Harris’ adaptation of Tolstoy’s novella, The Kreutzer Sonata (also at La MaMa E.T.C, New York); Sam Holcroft’s, Vanya, inspired by Chekhov’s original; and Alexandra Wood’s Unbroken, a dance-theatre response to Schnitzler’s La Ronde. Other directing credits at the Gate include: Mark Ravenhill’s Women in Love and Anne Washburn’s The Internationalist.

Recent directing credits include: Swive [Elizabeth] (Globe Theatre); The Meeting (Chichester Festival Theatre); Machinal (Almeida Theatre); Wings (Young Vic); Queen Anne (RSC and Theatre Royal Haymarket);

Other directing credits include: Ah Wilderness and Happy Days (Young Vic); Hitchcock Blonde (Hull Truck); The Merchant of Venice (Creation Theatre Company); Parallax (Almeida Theatre) and After Miss Julie (Young Vic).

The JMK Award gave me a tremendous opportunity to direct two Beckett plays which I loved, and would never have been able to afford to stage otherwise: being too short, too technical, and too expensive. The Award is extraordinary because its unique existence fulfils every young director’s wish: to choose a play and then receive the financial support to stage it. It was an amazing privilege to have this wish fulfilled - Natalie Abrahami

Theatrically terrific - the language has such mesmerising vigour and the imaginative power of the plays knocks you out - Jeremy Kingston in The Times


If Natalie Abrahami had any migraines about this taut double bill, it doesn't show on her stage. Both are an unflagging assault on the senses, a visceral, witty and highly enjoyable bubble of Beckett at his sly cackling best - Lucy Powell in Time Out


Natalie Abrahami, winner of this year's James Menzies-Kitchin Award, has already proved herself a director of exceptional flair. Watching this Beckett is like falling backwards into hell, hearing cries
- Lyn Gardner in The Guardian

In 2005 our weekend workshop at BAC was led by Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of Paines Plough and JMK Trustee. The shortlisted directors included Polly Findlay, Carrie Cracknell, Sam Leifer, Charlotte Westenra, James Tovell, Mel Cook and Sarah Norman.

Production photos by Pete Le May.