The Nigel Williams Trainee Director Programme

We were very sad to hear of the death of long-time Friend and supporter of OperaUpClose, Nigel Williams. Nigel was a passionate and knowledgeable theatre- and opera-goer. He was a great supporter of many young artists as they started in the theatre industry, including our Artistic Director Robin, who was his Assistant Director on a production of A Family Affair by Alexander Ostrovsky back in 2005.

We are immensely touched to be nominated as a charity to which Nigel’s friends and family are invited to make donations in Nigel’s name. To honour Nigel's memory and commemorate his support of so many young theatre makers over the years, we have decided to name our Trainee Director scheme after him.

The Trainee Director programme has been run by OperaUpClose since 2010, but we recently paused it as we did not want to offer it as an unpaid internship. We have been fundraising in order to be able to pay Trainee Directors the London Living Wage, so as to make directing careers open to all, not just to those who can afford to work for free. Trainee Directors join us for a period of approximately three months, and as well as assistant directing on a production they receive training in budgeting, marketing and fundraising so they are better equipped to produce their own work, as this is how so many young directors start out.

To continue this programme in Nigel's name feels like an appropriate gesture, and one we hope he would be proud to put his name to.

To make a donation in Nigel’s memory, please contact Olivia on 020 3176 7823 or olivia@operaupclose.com, or send a cheque made payable to OperaUpClose to us at 221 The Pill Box, 115 Coventry Road, E2 6GG with a note saying it is for The Nigel Williams Trainee Director Programme.

Our deepest condolences to all Nigel’s friends and family at this difficult time.