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Wednesday, 18 April, 2001, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Who will run the Royal National Theatre?
BBC News Online profiles some of the theatre figures who are in the frame to run the Royal National Theatre when Trevor Nunn steps down.

Stephen Daldry
Stephen Daldry, 39

Biography: Currently basking in the fame of his debut movie Billy Elliott - for which he received an Oscar nomination - Daldry is a theatre director of note. His 1992 production of An Inspector Calls for the National Theatre was garlanded with awards and is still running in the West End. He was made a director of the Royal Court Theatre at the age of 32, where he directed David Hare in Via Dolorosa.

Why not?: He is directing Meryl Streep in The Hours, a film homage to Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway and has agreed to other film ventures.

Sam Mendes
Sam Mendes, 35

Biography: His debut film American Beauty had eight Oscar nominations and won a best director award for the director. He worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and is famous for persuading Nicole Kidman to take to the stage in The Blue Room. Other notable work includes The Rise and Fall of Little Voice with Jane Horrocks.

Why not?: He seems perfectly happy combining a burgeoning Hollywood career with his role as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse.

Nicholas Hytner
Nicolas Hytner, 44

Biography: A director whose successes include Carousel and The Cripple of Inishmaan. He too went to Hollywood with his acclaimed The Madness of King George and The Crucible. His film career has faltered lately with mediocre reviews for the Jennifer Anniston vehicle The Object of My Affection and recently Centre Stage.

Why not?: He has never run a theatre company, though he started his career at Manchester's Royal Exchange.

Jude Kelly
Jude Kelly, 46

Biography: Highly experienced director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse, her excellent community programme will stand in her favour. She directed the musical Singin' in the Rain which transferred to the RNT to great acclaim. She is seen as an excellent spokesperson for theatre and particularly regional arts.

Why not?: Seen as more a producer than a director.

Anna Friel
Anna Friel in Lulu directed by Nicholas Kent
Jonathan Kent

Biography: Runs the highly successful Almeida Theatre with Ian McDiarmid. Managed to persuade Cate Blanchett, Kevin Spacey, Juliette Binoche and Liam Neeson to tread the boards in London. He has directed to great acclaim at the RNT - Mother Courage starring Diana Rigg.

Why not?: He may be happy to stay with The Almeida which goes from strength to strength.

Mathew Warchus's film Simpatico
Matthew Warchus, 34

Biography: Another gifted young director who has taken plays like Sam Shepherd's True West to Broadway. He directed Yazmina Reza's hit play Art and her latest work Lifex3 at the RNT and an acclaimed Hamlet at the RSC. His first film Simpatico starred Sharon Stone but did not get good reviews.

Why not?: Perhaps not enough experience of managing a theatre.

Also reputedly in the running:

Michael Attenborough: Son of Lord Attenborough and current principal associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

John Caird: Has worked closely with Trevor Nunn - they co-directed Les Miserables at the RSC.

Howard Davies: His All My Sons at the RNT was garlanded with Olivier awards recently. He also directed The Iceman Cometh with Kevin Spacey at the Almeida.

Michael Kaiser: The man who turned around the fortunes of the ROH but now back in the US.

See also:

18 Apr 01 | Arts
National's Nunn to leave
31 Mar 99 | Entertainment
More than a stage whisper
13 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Stephen Daldry: From stage to screen
18 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Midas Mendes
22 Mar 01 | Reviews
Fair Lady's luvverly show
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