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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 1 April, 2003, 10:43 GMT 11:43 UK
Hytner takes National Theatre reins
Nicholas Hytner
Nicholas Hytner directed The Madness of King George
London's National Theatre is welcoming its new artistic director Nicholas Hytner as he takes over the reins on Tuesday.

Although he was named as the successor to Sir Trevor Nunn back in 2001 he is only just taking up the position at the South Bank venue.

The first production he will direct will be Henry V, opening on 13 May, which will be the first time the Shakespeare play has been performed at the National.

As part of his drive to open up the National Theatre to a wider audience two-thirds of the tickets will be sold for £10, while the remainder will be £25.

Part of Hytner's vision for the future of the theatre is to dig out new talent in writers, actors and directors as well using National regulars.

But he has said he is not seeking to bring in big name Hollywood actors for the sake of it.

Although Hytner lacks experience of running a major venue his award-winning credentials were enough to clinch him the prestigious job.

He has directed a number of productions at the National, including the musical Carousel.


And he has also directed the movies The Madness of King George, for which he won a Bafta award, The Crucible and the more mainstream romantic comedy The Object of My Affection, starring Jennifer Aniston.

Hytner will be in charge of the National for the next five years and within that time Hytner has said a number of musicals will feature in schedules.

But despite the success of the National production of My Fair Lady, which transferred to the West End, he does not predict any more revivals of American classics.

Instead the National will play host to the satirical musical Jerry Springer, which pokes fun at the seedier side of US low culture.

The show opened to rave reviews at last year's Edinburgh Festival and will receive its London première on 9 April in the Lyttleton Theatre.

At the heart of Hytner's six-month season in the Olivier, the largest auditorium at the National, is a group of leading directors and designers collaborating on a bold new way of staging plays with many tickets going for £10.

It is hoped this will entice younger audiences and those who would otherwise be put off by the traditionally high prices of London theatres.

Theatre boss warns of arts divide
04 Nov 02  |  Entertainment
Hytner takes National's top job
25 Sep 01  |  Entertainment
Leading roles of Hytner's career
25 Sep 01  |  Entertainment
Trevor Nunn bids farewell
23 Feb 03  |  Entertainment

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