When it comes to Natalie Songer's latest theatrical project, she's looking to the stars - literally.

The former Mercury Youth Theatre practitioner, who was in the Youth Theatre herself, is working on a piece called Satellites, which tells the story of her great uncles Tom and Cor, brothers of whom one was a victim of the concentration camps, while Tom worked with the US Space Programme.

In an epic true story of family heritage, disappearance and space travel written between the farmland of North Holland and the deserts of Arizona, Satellites asks questions about who and what we leave behind, and how we can begin to measure the immeasurable.

Natalie says: "I suppose you could say it's been in development my whole life because it's hugely autobiographical. It's about my two great uncles from the Dutch side of my family, one who became an astronaut and the other who fought with the resistance before being captured.

"The piece is about their relationship. How they were separated during the war and how Tom survived and went to live and work in the US.

"I was fortunate to get some Arts Council funding to explore the story further and so I was able to go over to the University of Arizona where there is an archive of my great uncle's stuff.

"At the moment we're still working on the script but at some stage I'd like to do a scratch performance to eventually work towards a final piece."

Born and brought up in Colchester, Natalie is now based in Norwich working as the general manager for Curious Directive, a theatre company that specialises in science-led theatre.

"It's a fascinating team to work with," she says. "We use a lot of tech in our show for example our latest has virtual reality in it and also augmented reality, which is where you can embed an image into a computer programme so it interacts with the real world. So I could be using my camera to look at my office window and the augmented reality could have aeroplanes or spaceships flying past it."

In Gastronomic, three sky chefs prepare a five-course tasting menu on board the final flight of an Airbus A380, revealing the blueprints of the worlds’ best chefs and celebrating the importance of eating together.

Each ticket includes a five-course tasting menu, as well as Curious Directive’s trademark harnessing of new technologies, and takes place in September at Shoreditch Town Hall.

The former County High School for Girls pupil and Colchester Sixth Form College student, first fell in love with the theatre after going to see puppet shows at the Colchester Arts Centre and of course 'going to see the Mercury Theatre's pantomime'.

"That was the first show I can vividly remember going to see," she tells me, "on a school trip. The first show that really excited me, I suppose made we want to make theatre myself was Souterrain, a site specific piece that ran in the old Keddies building back in 2006. I must have been about 15 or 16 at the time."

Natalie had joined the Mercury's Youth Theatre many years before, at the age of eight, staying with the group until she was 18.

"You got a letter," she says, "and that was it, you were done."

Soon after gaining her place at university, Natalie was invited back to Youth Theatre, this time to be an assistant from which she eventually worked her way up to being a lead practitioner.

"I left in February this year to take up my job at Curious Directive," Natalie explains. "I wasn't really involved with theatre at school. They didn't really offer it except in English so in a sense the Mercury Youth Theatre filled a massive gap for me.

"It also introduced me to an alternative lifestyle, people that became my role models, who I could aspire to be one day. That was so important, especially bearing in mind what I'm doing now. Watching people in a room making theatre was so eye-opening. It wasn't on a stage or on film, it was there right in front of you, and that gave me a real incentive to become a theatre-maker myself."

In between her studies at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Natalie was offered several jobs at the Mercury, including assisting with the directing on several Youth Theatre shows including the Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Prodigious Snob and Cider with Rosie.

"It was a little odd," she confesses, "because there were still some people there that I had been with in Youth Theatre myself but it was a great experience to have, and I hope that my time in the Youth Theatre allowed me to understand the needs of those involved in the shows.

"I think it's a really lovely thing seeing how families come through the Youth Theatre and while I was there I remember teaching quite a few brothers and sisters of different ages."