Anna Coombs


Anna has worked as a director at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, The New Vic, Stoke on Trent, The Oxford Playhouse and The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury as well as across London’s West End for Thelma Holt CBE, Bill Kenwright, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group and at ENO with Jonathan Miller.  

She founded Tangle whilst based  at Hall for Cornwall, Truro where her directing credits included HIGHFLIERS by Henry Darke,  BLOOD by Victoria Field, RESPONSES (new plays) NEVER SAY RABBIT IN A BOAT by Nick Darke, the first UK revival of his inaugural play and a tribute to her long time  friend and collaborator.

In 2008 she directed Christopher Marlowe’s THE JEW OF MALTA with an international cast, which, along with Tangle’s opening production EVERYMAN, won The 2010 TMA Eclipse Award.

For Tangle, she has  directed a collection of six new plays, A DROP TO DRINK  at Soho Theatre London in partnership with The National Theatre Studio, VANHU VESE (performed in English, Shona, siSwati and Kinyarwanda) co-produced with The Africa Centre and Rich Mix, Esther O’Toole’s THE CROSSING co-produced with Nottingham Playhouse and Theatre 503, Cont Mhlanga’s WORKSHOP NEGATIVE at Gate Theatre Notting Hill, and most recently, Marlowe’s DOCTOR FAUSTUS which played to sell-out houses across South West England in spring 2018.

For Tangle Company, the company’s sans-decor township  ensemble, she has directed and adapted NO ONE IS AN ISLAND (2017) and WATER BREAD AND SALT (2014 and 2018).

In 2010 she was Director on Attachment at The National Theatre Studio and Resident Director at NITRO (Black Music Theatre), returning to The NT in 2011 to direct Koa Oduor Anthony’s play MAKMENDE VIES FOR PRESIDENT in English, Swahili and Sheng for The National Theatre African Playwriting Project.

Anna is also a freelance creative consultant and race equality strategist. She is Research Associate (African Theatre) at SOAS, London University and a panellist for Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA)’s Guest Projects.