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Nicholas Hytner: Balancing Acts

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Presented by Festival of Ideas

Nicholas Hytner will tell the story of 12 years at the helm of the National Theatre, a period of unparalleled creativity and success. He will share stories about productions of The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors; about probing Shakespeare from every angle and reinventing the classics; about opening the doors of the National Theatre to a broader audience than ever before; and about coming up time and again against the challenge of reconciling art and commerce. He will also give an insider's account of working with Alan Bennett, Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh, Paul Scofield, Helen Mirren, Daniel Day-Lewis, James Corden and many others, and explore the art and alchemy of theatre, examining the biggest questions facing the creative industries right now.

Join him for an evening of memories, followed by a Q and A with Bristol Old Vic's Artistic Director Tom Morris.

Nicholas Hytner was director of the National Theatre from 2003 to 2015, where he directed plays by - among many others - Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Alan Bennett and Richard Bean and produced more than 200 different shows. He brought in a new community of artists, introduced National Theatre Live cinema broadcasts around the world and established £10 ticket seasons which - by radically reducing ticket prices - filled the National with large new audiences. Before running the National, he worked widely in the West End and on Broadway; and in opera - in London, Paris, Munich and New York. His films include The Madness of King George, The History Boys, The Lady in the Van and The Crucible with Daniel Day-Lewis. The Bridge Theatre, the London home of the new company he has formed with Nick Starr, opens in 2017.

21 May
7pm talk, followed by Q&A
£10.50/£8.50 conc
(plus booking fee)

Running time TBC


In 2016 we began redevelopment works to transform our front of house King Street entrance into a welcoming, vibrant space that everyone will be able to enjoy. During this time, it will be business as usual in the Theatre with our brilliant programme on offer, however there are a few changes to how we'll be operating.

Theatre Entrance

You are now invited to enter the Theatre through our Stage Door, walking in the footsteps of theatre legends such as Peter O'Toole, Daniel Day Lewis and Miranda Richardson.

Our new Theatre entrance can be accessed via Rackhay (BS1 4HJ) off Queen Charlotte Street, around the corner from King Street.

Click here for more information and updates on our Theatre entrance.

Ticket Collection

On performance days, tickets can be collected from Box Office situated in our Backstage Bar opening 90 mins prior to each performance.

For more information on accessibility, ticket collection, our Backstage Bar, arrival and drop-off at our Theatre plus updates on our redevelopment, click here.

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