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Tuesday, 25 September, 2001, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Hytner appointment welcomed
Royal National Theatre
Nicholas Hytner takes over in April 2003
Nicholas Hytner's appointment as artistic director of the Royal National Theatre has been received warmly by the theatre world.

Nicholas de Jongh, theatre critic of the Evening Standard, was one of those who had predicted his appointment and said he was the candidate best qualified to do the job.


He has a proven track record

Jeremy Austin, The Stage
"I have said in the past that Hytner would be the next best thing for the National - after Stephen Daldry," he told BBC News Online.

"But Hytner is, of all the available candidates, the best qualified for the job in terms of his all round experience and the wide range of his theatrical interests.

"Trevor Nunn, despite his successes, tended to make the National look too commercial.

Stephen Daldry
Daldry: "Delighted" at appointment
"So one of Hytner's first tasks is to address that - not to be a brilliant replica of commercial theatre.

"It's an important part of his mission to re-establish the National Theatre as a centre for new writing, and he is the man best suited to the job," said de Jongh.

'Thrilled'

Film director Stephen Daldry - who made his name at London's Gate and Royal Court theatres - told BBC News Online he was extremely pleased by the move.

"I'm thrilled and delighted that Nick has been appointed.

"I think he'll do an excellent job," he said.

Rupert Rhymes, chief executive of the Society of London Theatres, said: "We wish him well, and we're sure his appointment will be welcomed by the theatre world."

'Insider Knowledge'

That view was echoed by Jeremy Austin, news editor of The Stage.

He told BBC News Online that the choice of Hytner was "predictable - but none the worse for that".

"He has a proven track record - certainly for commercial productions.

"He also has an insider knowledge of the National Theatre and has worked there successfully."

"It's like Gavyn Davies at the BBC - the insider got the job," said Mr Austin.

'Outstanding'

Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company Adrian Noble wished Mr Hytner "all the very best".

" I can't imagine anyone being better positioned than Nick to take the National Theatre forward to its next phase.

"His experience in the subsidised as well as the commercial theatre, his success with new plays as well as classics, and a practical understanding of film and television make him an outstanding candidate," said Mr Noble.

And the Arts Council's chief executive Peter Hewitt said in a statement: "The Arts Council is delighted to welcome Nicholas Hytner's appointment as Artistic Director of the Royal National Theatre.

"His vision and commitment to the National and presenting theatre on large stages is exciting.

"His work should have an impact on theatre across the nation and we look forward to working with him."

See also:

18 Apr 01 | Arts
National's Nunn to leave
02 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Eyre calls for cheaper theatre
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