Indhu Rubasingham

Indhu Rubasingham, is a British theatre director and the current artistic director of the Kiln Theatre (formerly the Tricycle Theatre) in Kilburn, London.

Her focus has been predominantly directing new writing and developing exciting voices. Themes that often arise in her work explore and examine ideas around British identity and the threads of human connection that crosses race, culture and identity; telling stories from different perspectives and specificity that reveals the universality of the human spirit.

‘’Theatre matters because it’s a shared live experience where we all engage with empathy to feel and hear a story.’’


Born in Sheffield to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka, Indhu was educated at Nottingham Girls’ High School, after which she studied drama at Hull University (where she received an Honorary Doctorate in 2017). 

Soon after graduating Hull University, she received an Arts Council bursary to work as a trainee director at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, where she assisted director Mike Leigh. She then went on to be a freelance theatre director for over fifteen years and during this time held posts as an associate director at the Gate Theatre, the Young Vic, and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. 


Indhu is one of this country’s most exciting and original theatremakers. Since May 2012 she has been making her mark as artistic director at the Kiln Theatre. Her first play as artistic director, Lolita Chakrabarti’s Red Velvet starring her husband Adrian Lester, won the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Awards.

‘’My vision is to be an important local theatre with an international vision to bring unheard voices into the mainstream, and to be a theatre that is accessible to all those who are interested in theatre.’’

Indhu’s mission for Kiln Theatre is to make theatre for all by making space for unheard/ignored voices to be part of the mainstream and be a local theatre with an international vision. Under her artistic leadership, the Creative Engagement programme aims to champion the imagination, aspiration and potential of the Brent community young and old.

Her productions as Artistic Director include: Red Velvet (Evening Standard Award and Critics’ Circle Award, also at St Ann’s Warehouse, NYC and Kenneth Branagh Season, West End), A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes, Multitudes, The House That Will Not Stand, Handbagged (Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, also West End transfer and UK tour), Paper Dolls, The Invisible Hand, Holy Sh!t, and White Teeth.

‘’The best thing about my job is the people I get to work with … generally being in a job that allows me to meet so many different people and personalities and characters.’’