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NT's Rufus Norris appoints head of new work and deputy artistic director

Norris has created a New Work department, which will 'become the engine room of the National's creative process'

New deputy artistic director Ben Power at the National Theatre
© Bill Knight

New National Theatre artistic director Rufus Norris has announced the creation of a New Work department to commission and develop productions, led by the Royal Court's Emily McLaughlin.

Norris, who succeeded Nicholas Hytner in April, said today the New Work department will "become the engine room of the National's creative process".

McLaughlin has been artistic associate for the Royal Court since 2007 and has worked on productions including Gone Too Far!, Posh, Get Santa! and Who Cares.

Norris added: "All artistic development, from new play commissions to Studio workshops and the evolution of productions of classic texts, will be led by a single department: maximising the combined potential of the Literary Department and the unique facility that is the NT Studio."

He also announced today that associate director Ben Power, who has worked as dramaturg on over 20 productions for the NT and overseen programming in the Temporary Theatre, is to become deputy artistic director.

"I'm enormously excited to be working alongside Rufus as his deputy, helping to ensure that the impact of the new department is felt across the NT's stages," said Power. "I look forward to working with Emily and continuing the task of broadening our programme, growing our range of artists and appealing to the widest possible audience."

Norris, who endured a rocky start to his tenure when chief executive Tessa Ross stepped down last month, added that the New Work department "will ensure that the National Theatre is able to lead, shape and respond to new and emerging theatre practices, and to represent the widest range of voices on our stages."