Emily Lim

Emily Lim Portrait


Emily is a theatre director who specialises in creating community work and working with non-professional performers. She is currently developing work for the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill and the National Theatre.

Emily was Lead Associate Director for the 1418 Now/National Theatre/Birmingham Rep country-wide project WE’RE HERE BECAUSE WE’RE HERE conceived by artist Jeremy Deller. Emily is the Director of the National Theatre's PUBLIC ACTS development. 

Upcoming work includes: BELLS FOR PEACE (Manchester International Festival)

Recent directing credits include:  THE BEST DAY EVER! A PLAY ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD (Company 3);  PERICLES (National Theatre); BRAINSTORM (National Theatre and Park Theatre, as co-director for Islington Community Theatre); WUTHERING HEIGHTS (Ambassadors Theatre, for National Youth Theatre); A DECLARATION FROM THE PEOPLE (National Theatre); THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN (AND OTHER STORIES), THE KILBURN PASSION, THE WARDROBE (Tricycle Theatre); ANOTHER FINE MESS (Bristol Old Vic Studio) and HENRY V (Southwark Playhouse). 

Emily works extensively in community settings and has designed and delivered projects for companies including the Royal Court, National Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Chickenshed, Half Moon Young People’s Theatre, Epic Arts and Synergy. 

Emily is an Associate Artist of Islington Community Theatre and was Young Company Director of the Tricycle Theatre from 2013 - 2014.

She was winner of the Better Bankside Shakespeare Award 2010 and runner up of the JMK Director’s Award 2015. She trained on the National Theatre’s Directors’ Course in 2013 and was Staff Director on Rufus Norris’ productions of BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS and EVERYMAN (Olivier Theatre).

Emily became Resident Director at the National Theatre as recipient of the inaugural Peter Hall Award in 2016.

28 August 2018

Pericles Goes Down a Storm ★★★★★

Pericles Goes Down a Storm  ★★★★★

‘The National's vast Olivier stage has never seen anything quite like it before.’ - The Independent  

The National Theatre’s first ever Public Acts production has gone down an absolute storm with critics and audiences alike. 

The Times ★★★★★

'Inclusive, empowering, revitalising, celebratory, multicultural, multilingual and downright fun. This three-night community theatre smash-and-grab might just have changed the National Theatre for good.' 

'There were moments that brought to mind the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics; people coming together, en masse, to create something more than the sum of its parts. The director, Emily Lim, deserves a medal for corralling 233 performers (a record for the Olivier stage) into a roiling, broiling show that thrummed with life. Whenever the whole cast entered the stage as one, it felt like a coup. This is our stage, it said.' 

The Guardian ★★★★★

'A giddy celebration of humanity and our endless capacity for warmth, togetherness and love.' 

'Emily Lim has corralled the chorus brilliantly but she hasn’t polished the life out of them. Nervous smiles flash towards the audience and Shakespeare’s play feels so much more authentic and touching for it.'

'Jim Fortune’s original score is catchy, confident and eclectic, with Latin pop, folk and Bollywood influences as well as soaring romantic ballads. His music is complemented by cameo appearances from a range of London-based groups, whose performances are brilliantly varied and deeply soulful. No more so than when Pericles bids farewell to his daughter with a mournful lullaby, and a soloist from the London Bulgarian Choir lets rip with a haunting lament.'

Broadway World ★★★★★

‘It's a solid five-star show that transforms its challenges into opportunities (as all those management development courses insist upon) and delivers an unforgettable theatrical experience for everyone involved on either side of the fourth wall.'

The Reviews Hub ★★★★★

'Extraordinary theatre indeed!' 

The Stage ★★★★

‘Joyous, lively and community-focused’ 

The Independent ★★★★

 ‘The resulting production, which opened last night for three performances, teems with vibrant, diverse and witty life, qualities that Pericles is well-suited to display’


‘It’s the richest possible patchwork of styles, cultural influences and theatrical methods.’

A Younger Theatre

'An epic undertaking, Pericles is the first born child of Public Acts, a nationwide initiative that seeks to create ambitious works of participatory theatre. And ambitious certainly is the word. The production features a cast of 120 Londoners from different backgrounds, additional performances from a variety of groups such as cheerleaders, a gospel choir and dance troupes. To say there is nothing like it in the West End is an understatement.'