nabokov theatre company is delighted to announced the appointment of Stef O’Driscoll as Artistic Director, taking over from Joe Murphy after six years in the post.
Following a two year stint as Associate Director at Paines Plough, O’Driscoll joins the company that was founded in 2001 by current Paines Plough Artistic Directors James Grieve and George Perrin who remain on the Board. Established as a touring company intent on discovering new work and breaking the rules, nabokov has gone from strength to strength with multiple successful runs at Edinburgh Fringe and sold out performances at London venues including The Bush and Off Broadway. Their alumni include Mike Bartlett, EV Crowe, Arthur Darvill, Ella Hickson, Joel Horwood, Jack Thorne, Nick Payne, Duncan Macmillan and Tom Wells.
Upon her appointment, O’Driscoll said: “I’ve long admired nabokov’s work and in particular its political roots and history of risk-taking. I’m intent to continue in that vein, telling stories through cross-art forms, with a mission to democratise theatre by taking it out of traditional venues and bringing it to places you’re more likely to stumble across than seek out. So you’ll be seeing our productions - which will fuse great storytelling with live music and film, feeling more like a gig or a rave - in car parks, pubs, working men’s clubs and even an NHS hospital.”
She continued: “The world of entertainment has changed and theatre needs to keep up. Our aim is to bring stories to people, rather than asking them to come to us. We won’t compromise on quality, but we will make it affordable – that’s key.”
O’Driscoll has a roster of new talent lined up for collaboration already, including: World Champion beatboxer Bellatrix, the first professional female beatboxer in the UK; TeaFilms whose visual storytelling captured the attention of MTV and Secret Cinema; and Kam Sandhu, founding member of REAL MEDIA, a cooperative of journalists dedicated to public interest journalism and challenging mass media distortion.
O’Driscoll will be joined by new producer Liz Counsell, who has spent the last 3 years as part of the producing team at Camden’s Roundhouse and replaces Paul Jellis.
James Grieve said: "We could not be more thrilled that Stef will lead nabokov into an exciting future. She is a brilliant, singular, inventive director whose passion for making theatre is endlessly inspiring. Under her leadership, nabokov will be unpredictable, unruly and absolutely essential. We can’t wait!
"When George and I joined Paines Plough in 2010 we were fortunate to hand nabokov to an outstanding director in Joe Murphy who - along with producer Paul Jellis - has led the company with distinction for six successful and far-reaching years. We are hugely grateful to Joe and Paul who leave nabokov in rude health and ready for a new era."