Writer / Director
Alexander Zeldin had his formative experiences working in Russia, the Middle East and in South Korea, as well as an assistant director to Peter Brook. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Quercus Trust Award and was appointed as Associate Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. In 2017, Alexander was named Artist in Residence at the National Theatre and in 2018, was the winner of the Arts Foundation twenty-fifth anniversary Fellowship for Literature.
Writing stories that embody everyday struggles, Alexander involves people who are living the realities of his narratives in the creation of his work. Collaborating with unions and organisations for low-paid workers in insecure employment as well as families and refugees living in London’s homeless shelters and, most recently, for his upcoming play, with mothers interacting with the care system, Alexander ensures these lived realities are part of a long and deep collaborative process throughout rehearsals. Alexander is interested in the relationship between highly trained actors, alongside those who have never acted before: often individuals he has met through the research work or who have come to theatre as a means for social inclusion. Alexander has never viewed the theatre as a place for make-believe, considering it instead as a space for people to feel life ‘with an intensity that is proper to its true, tragic and miraculous nature.’
His critically acclaimed play, Beyond Caring, which told the story of temporary contract workers meeting on a night shift in a meat factory, had its World Premiere at the Yard Theatre in Hackney in 2014, before transferring to National Theatre in 2015. Beyond Caring toured the UK and a new US production, re-developed for the US, opened in Chicago in April 2017.
Alexander’s most recent play LOVE, presenting intimate family bonds under pressure in temporary accommodation at Christmas time, opened at the National Theatre in December 2016, before touring to the UK and being presented at the Paris Autumn Festival. It will continue to tour in 2019-20. A film of the play was produced by Cuba Pictures and aired on BBC2 in 2018. His new play, FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY will open at the National Theatre later this year.