Gate Theatre Notting Hill Artistic Directors Natalie Abrahami And Carrie Cracknell Announce Farewell Season

Gate Theatre joint Artistic Directors Natalie Abrahami and Carrie Cracknell today announced their final season for the company ahead of their departure from the Gate in January 2012.

“After four years running the Gate we are thrilled to announce our farewell season, which celebrates new talent, new writing and new interpretations of international classics that have been the signature of our tenure,” they said. “We are honoured to welcome back so many familiar collaborators on stage and behind the scenes and we hope that the repertoire continues to delight and surprise in equal measure.”

Chair of the Gate Board, Jonathan Hull said

“Over their four years at the Gate Theatre, Natalie and Carrie’s programme of new international writing, dance theatre and contemporary adaptations of classics has been a great success and has built on the Gate’s tradition of presenting bold, innovative, international theatre at our intimate venue in Notting Hill. The strength of their final season is a testament to their unique artistic vision.

While we are sad to say farewell to Natalie and Carrie, the Gate has a strong future ahead of it, particularly given the recent confirmation of Arts Council funding through to 2015, and we are excited to see the direction in which a new Artistic Director will take the company.”

Cracknell and Abrahami took over as the Gate’s first joint Artistic Directors in March 2007 and since then have garnered a reputation for creating bold reinterpretations of international classics, and blending dance and text to bring dance theatre to the Gate stage.

Between 2007 and 2012 Cracknell and Abrahami will have presented more than thirty productions, including 18 world premieres. Under their joint tenure the company has been nominated for a South Bank Award and received the 2008 Peter Brook Empty Space Award. In 2009 Carrie and Natalie received the prestigious Paul Hamlyn Foundation Breakthrough Fund for creative entrepreneurs to implement their Gate Elsewhere initiative.

Abrahami and Cracknell leave the Gate to pursue freelance work in Britain and abroad. They leave a legacy of a robust and internationally acclaimed theatre for the new incoming Artistic Director – this position will be advertised shortly.


The 2011-12 season epitomises the Gate’s commitment to producing radical, rebellious new theatre, with three original adaptations of international classics and the European premiere of an award-winning American comedy.

Cracknell leads the company’s farewell season with Sophocles’ ELECTRA, in a new version by award-winning playwright Nick Payne due to open to press on Wednesday 13 April.

In June, Australian writer/director Anna Ledwich returns to the Gate to direct her own adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s novella DREAM STORY following her 2010 sell-out Lulu.

Summer sees the European premiere of American comedy WITTENBERG, directed by Christopher Haydon and in Autumn, the theatre opens its doors to Dance Umbrella with two important pieces of dance theatre, THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE and LOGOBI 05.

The season culminates in November when Abrahami teams up with acclaimed writer Anthony Weigh for a new adaptation of Federico García Lorca’s YERMA, in a co-production with Hull Truck.

World Premiere
Dream Story
By Arthur Schnitzler
Adapted and Directed by Anna Ledwich
Designed by Helen Goddard

Thursday 9 June to Saturday 16 July 2011

Anna Ledwich will direct her version of Arthur Schnitzler’s provocative and mezmerizing thriller, Dream Story, the novella that inspired Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut; a vivid examination into the nature of sexual jealousy, obsession and desire.

Through a simple, teasing sexual confession of fantasised infidelity, a husband and wife are driven apart into rival worlds of erotic revenge. Their mutual admissions signal a surrendering to their most illicit fantasies propelling them into an extraordinary night-journey and dangerous sexual awakening .

Anna Ledwich was the recipient of the New Directions Award in 2010, a collaboration with Headlong Theatre and her acclaimed production of Lulu was a huge success. Her directing credits include most recently The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Royal and Derngate), A Christmas Carol (CFT), Lovely and Misfit (Trafalgar Studios), GBS (Theatre 503), The Big Dry (BAC), Roulette (Finborough Theatre), Poet No.7 (Theatre 503) and Yellowing (Harrow Arts Centre/Theatre 503 and Jermyn Street Theatre).

Full casting to be announced shortly.

European Premiere
By David Davalos
Directed by Christopher Haydon
Designed by Oliver Townsend

Wednesday 24 August to Saturday 1 October 2011

Join the jury as two of history’s most stubborn intellectuals go head-to-head in
a highly entertaining battle of reason versus faith.

Philosophy and religion collide in David Davalos’s dazzling play, which pits the wit of the radical Doctor Faustus against the faith of the conservative Martin Luther, while their student is a troubled Prince Hamlet, who is having difficulty deciding what’s best to do.

At once brilliantly comic, thoughtful and absorbing, Davalos’s play is a sparkling celebration of history, language, academia and religion and may just have the answers to some of life’s big questions.

David Davalos is an American born playwright who lives in Colorado. His plays include Daedalus: A Fantasia of Leonardo da Vinci; The Tragedie of Johnnius Caerson (a comedy in blank verse chronicling the Late Night TV Wars); and Darkfall (a modern follow-up to Paradise Lost). His latest play Wittenberg has been the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award, the 2008 Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play, and the National Theatre Conference’s 2008 Stavis Playwriting Award.

Directed by Christopher Haydon whose credits include In The Beginning (Westminster Abbey), Pressure Drop (On Theatre/Welcome Collection), Deep Cut (Sherman Cymru/National Tour), Monsters (Arcola), A Number (Salisbury Playhouse), Grace (British Council/On Theatre) and Notes from Underground (Arcola). Christopher is the Associate Director of On Theatre and an Associate Artist at the Bush Theatre.

Full casting will be announced shortly.


Following the enormous success of I Am Falling and Press, the Gate continues their exploration into contemporary dance by working alongside London’s foremost International Festival of New Dance, Dance Umbrella.

The Gate are delighted to be presenting in a co-commission with the festival the world premiere of The Difference Engine (12-22 Oct). A vivid and thrilling interplay between dance, electronic music and video, this new work manipulates time and memory by exploring what occurs in both the physical present and the technological future.

This is the second collaboration project from Zoë Svendsen, Ben Duke, Will Duke and Dario Palermo. Their debut work Discombobulator premiered in the 2009 Venice Biennale Festival of Contemporary Music and featured as a Brief Encounter in Dance Umbrella 2010.

Also featuring as part of the Festival at the Gate is the UK Premiere of Logobi 05 (24 – 28 Oct), a brilliant and entertaining meeting of different cultures and contexts. Using movement and dialogue, the dancers create a bridge for their dance and cultures to be shared with some lighthearted collisions along the way. Logobi 05 is performed by Richard Siegal, formerly a dancer with the William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt, and Frank Edmond Yao from the Ivory Coast.

For further information please see

World Premiere
The Gate Theatre and Hull Truck present
By Federico Garcia Lorca
In a new version by Anthony Weigh
Directed by Natalie Abrahami

Wednesday 9 November to Saturday 17 December 2011

Natalie Abrahami will direct Anthony Weigh’s searing new version of Lorca’s harrowing play, Yerma.

Desperate to begin a family with husband Juan, Yerma undertakes a journey of discovery leading her to uncover a secret that will condemn her to a life alone. Weigh’s new play is an evocative and compelling portrait of a woman driven to extremes by her longing to have a child in a land where a barren woman is a wasted woman.

Australian born, Anthony Weigh’s writing credits include Like a Fishbone and 2000 Feet Away at the Bush Theatre, where he is an Associate Playwright. Other works include Broad Street, or How do I strike you? (University of Birmingham 20/20 season 2010), (I’m in) Brooklyn, (not Dagenham Parkway) (Miniaturists 27, London). In 2009 Anthony was Playwright in Residence at the National Theatre and his next play The Flooded Grave will play as part of the Latitude Festival for the Bush Theatre.

Full casting will be announced shortly.

Release issued by Clióna Roberts


Gate Theatre website

📷 Main photo: Gate Theatre joint Artistic Directors Natalie Abrahami and Carrie Cracknell today announced their final season for the company ahead of their departure from the Gate in January 2012.

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