Indhu Rubasingham

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Indhu Rubasingham, MBE is an English theatre director and the current artistic director of the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, London.

Early life[edit]

Born in Sheffield to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka, Rubasingham was educated at Nottingham Girls' High School[citation needed], after which she studied drama at Hull University.[1]


Freelance directing[edit]

Soon after graduating Hull University, she won an Arts Council Bursary to work as an assistant director at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, where she assisted director Mike Leigh and worked on a range of theatre from pantomime and musicals to new writing plays.[2] She then went on to work as an associate director at the Gate Theatre (London), the Young Vic, and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.[3]

Freelance directing work includes productions at the National Theatre (in 2015 Stephen Adly Guirgis' The Motherfucker with the Hat as part of Rufus Norris' inaugural season[4]), West End, the Royal Court (including Belong, Disconnect, Free Outgoing, Lift Off, Clubland, The Crutch and Sugar Mummies), Almeida Theatre (most notably Ruined[5]), Chichester Festival Theatre (including Secret Rapture, Romeo & Juliet, and The Misanthrope), Hampstead Theatre, Birmingham Rep Theatre (including an adaptation of the Ramayana for Birmingham Rep which went on to perform at the National Theatre)[citation needed], Liverpool Everyman, Theatre Royal, Stratford East and St Ann’s Warehouse, New York. She has also worked in Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Uganda and India.[citation needed]

She has also directed radio plays for BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3 and the BBC World Service.[6]

Tricycle Theatre[edit]

Indhu Rubasingham succeeded Nicolas Kent as Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre in 2012. Rubasingham’s inaugural production was Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti, which won an Evening Standard Award and a Critics’ Circle Award,[7][8] the play is based on the story of Ira Aldridge, the first black actor to play Othello on a London stage in 1833.

Rubasingham directed Moira Buffini’s Handbagged at the Tricycle Theatre in autumn 2013, where it won an Olivier Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre’[9] and transferred to the West End in 2014 with a subsequent National Tour in 2015.[10] Handbagged was also nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Comedy.[citation needed]

Other Tricycle productions directed by Rubasingham include Paper Dolls, The House That Will Not Stand, Multitudes, A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes and The Invisible Hand.

In August 2014, while she was artistic director, the Tricycle Theatre was at the centre of a controversy over the funding of the UK Jewish Film Festival.[16]

In 2017, Indhu was awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Year Honours List.[11]

Other awards include the Asian Women of Achievement Award[12] and the Liberty Human Rights Award.[13]

In 2017 Rubasingham directed Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino for the National Theatre, which opened in February, starring Kate Fleetwood.[14]



  1. ^ "Media & Entertainment - University of Hull". Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  2. ^ Barnett, Laura (2013-02-20). "Indhu Rubasingham: artistic director, Tricycle theatre – profile". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  3. ^ "Indhu Rubasingham Masterclass". Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  4. ^ Billington, Michael (2015-06-18). "The Motherfucker with the Hat review – sex, addiction and honour among dudes". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  5. ^ "Ruined". Almeida Theatre. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  6. ^ "Indhu Rubasingham Masterclass". Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  7. ^ "Evening Standard Theatre Awards: why our judges chose the winners". Evening Standard. 2012-11-25. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  8. ^ Masters, Tim (2013-01-15). "Adrian Lester named best actor at Critics' Circle Theatre Awards". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  9. ^ "Oliviers 2014 winners list in full: Chimerica a big success on the". The Independent. 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  10. ^ "Tour Dates Archive - Handbagged the Play". Handbagged the Play. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  11. ^ "New Year's Honours 2017 - Press releases - GOV.UK". Retrieved 2017-02-16. 
  12. ^ "Major award for Indhu Rubasingham - Asian Culture Vulture". Asian Culture Vulture. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  13. ^ "human rights awards". Liberty Human Rights. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  14. ^ "Ugly Lies the Bone | National Theatre". Retrieved 2017-01-28.