From 2008 till 2012 Annemiek studied at the Academy for Theatere, Fontys School of Arts (BA Hons) with a further degree in Teaching Drama and Creative Writing. Besides the tasks set by the course she was Assistant Director for one of the leading Dutch companies Het Zuidelijk Toneel, where she continued to work after her graduation. During her Bachelor she also developed her writing and won the prize for ‘Best Short Story’ in the writing contest ‘WriteNow!’ in 2012.
After graduation Annemiek worked as a freelance Director, Assistant Director and Writer for several companies including: Het Zuidelijk Toneel, Theater Artemis, Drie Ons, Productiehuis Brabant, United-C, L’Avventura Producties and Het Brabants Dagblad. During that year she was also became freelance Director at her old Theatre Academy at Fontys School of Arts.
In 2013 she moved to London to study at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama following the MA Advanced Theatre Practice course. Here she honed and combined her skills in devising, performance and producing. She is part of the company ‘The Fhallacies’, with whom she created the show ‘We Are Not Michael’ which also played at the Zlomvaz Festival in Prague. For her final project she started the company ‘van Elst A.M.O.’ (van Elst And Many Others), through which she works together with different artists to develop theatre shows.
I make theatre that has a social/political origin inspired by personal stories, through thorough academic and practical research, I build a show with artistic collaborations. In my shows I incorporate video and documentary material, raising questions about liveness and reality. Rhythm and timing are important components of the plays I direct, not only in the music, but also in the musicality of the text and the voice.
Her first show ‘No Fixed Abode‘ -a storytelling performance about homelessness and belonging- had succesful runs at Theaterfestival Boulvard, 198 Gallery Brixton, The Unresolved Festival at the Ophelia in Dalston and recently at Camden People Theatre for the ‘Who’s London Is It Anyway’ Festival.
van Elst A.M.O. followed up with the show ‘Becoming Mohammed‘, inspired by Annemiek’s brother who converted to Islam. The show reflects on the position of Muslims in modern Western society, and humanises the religion and its followers through a personal story. A first version of ‘Becoming Mohammed’ played at The Space Theatre in June 2015, in collaboration with Lyric Hammersmith. The team is currently working towards a new version of ‘Becoming Mohammed’, working with writer Claudia Marinaro, producer Robyn Bennett, Pleasance Theatre and SOAS University. They are in conversation with several theatre’s in the UK and the Netherlands for future performances.
—> for more information please see ‘van Elst A.M.O.’ on this website.
Besides making her own work, Annemiek continues her practice as a freelance Director, facilitator and Assistant director at several other companies including: English National Opera, Cardboard Citizens, Outside Edge Theatre, and Hearts Theatre Company.
She is an Associate Director at Lyric Hammersmith, where she runs part of the young company and collaborates on several other projects.
And Annemiek is an Associate Artist of the London based company SHUNT, including on their show ‘The Boy Who Climbed Out of His Face’ and more recently for NigelAndLouise with the BEE Project in collaboration with the Yard Theatre.
A complete CV can be found on this website.
left: Headshot by Rob ten Broek
right: Graduation Class 2012 by Thomas Boeren
Annemiek got scholarships from VSB Fonds and Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds for her MA in London