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Nt 50Th Anniversary


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#1 Epicoene

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:03 AM

As mentioned in another thread this October sees the 50th anniversary of the NT. One assumes they are planning some sort of celebration. What would you like to see ?

I think it is inevitable that it will be backward-looking rather than forward-looking (unless Nicholas Hytner chooses the occasion to announce his timely departure after 10 years at the helm). I would assume they'll get Richard Eyre and Trevor Nunn to direct something, and Peter Hall will be roped in too. It is arguable that the best director who has worked at the NT is Bill Bryden - it would be nice if he was called out of his Fulham semi-retirement to do something, he was supposed to be planning a production of The Seagull last year but it didn't seem to materialise ?

#2 Lynette

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:30 AM

Could they re create Bryden's magic?  No, better leave it in the memory. Why not have the Constellations guy write something. Nick Payne isn't it? His work seems very fresh to me.

#3 Epicoene

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:50 AM

View PostLynette, on 08 January 2013 - 09:30 AM, said:

Could they re create Bryden's magic?  

Well no, like Jack Shepherd said when they revived The Mysteries in 2000 it was like one of those football charity matches when formerly great players turn out. I'm just saying it would be nice to give him a bit of work.

#4 Honoured Guest

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:37 PM

Richard Eyre is working consistently at the Almeida and elsewhere. His projects seem to be of his own choice - not hack work to pay his electricity bill - and I can't see any point in him doing an NT show, unless he has something up his sleeve which couldn't be resourced anywhere else.

Trevor Nunn never stops. I read in the press recently that he's going to artistically direct his second season at Theatre Royal, Haymarket once OMTG moves on. He wouldn't have led the NT for so long (or at all) if there'd been a younger suitable candidate at the time. The NT should just thank him again for keeping it afloat for ten years.

Peter Hall's powers are finally diminishing with age and his engagement would court excruciating embarrassment all round.

Bill Bryden's best work was done as he grew his own informal company within the NT over some years and any standalone production now would be a shadow of past achievements.

The Royal Court's 50th anniversary year's programme was a model of how best to do it, with Upstairs rehearsed readings of many past seminal plays and a programme of new productions which were given enhanced publicity and status by being presented and marketed as part of a celebratory year,

Living outside London gives a different perspective on the NT to most of you guys. I think the best use of the anniversary would be to focus on clarifying and widely and clearly communicating the NT's core purposes today and in the immediate future, with reference to the past where this is useful. That's hard to do as an end-of-term artistic director without appearing to be trying to tie the hands of your successor. It's also hard to do in the middle of the NT Future development, with your building in a state of flux and partial temporary closure,

I think this anniversary presents an opportunity to enable each of the Associate Directors to present their own individually branded mini-seasons of work throughout the year. This would open up a debate about the different functions of a national theatre and this could inform the choice of its future direction.

#5 Epicoene

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:46 PM

View PostHonoured Guest, on 08 January 2013 - 12:37 PM, said:

Trevor Nunn never stops. I read in the press recently that he's going to artistically direct his second season at Theatre Royal, Haymarket once OMTG moves on. He wouldn't have led the NT for so long (or at all) if there'd been a younger suitable candidate at the time. The NT should just thank him again for keeping it afloat for ten years.


He wasn't there that long, just a single 5-year term.

The NT should look at the RSC 50th anniversary season in 2011 and use that as a template for everything that should be avoided when planning their own celebration.

#6 Latecomer

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:06 PM

View PostHonoured Guest, on 08 January 2013 - 12:37 PM, said:



Living outside London gives a different perspective on the NT to most of you guys.

How, exactly? :huh:

#7 Honoured Guest

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:01 PM

View PostLatecomer, on 08 January 2013 - 08:06 PM, said:

How, exactly? :huh:

What I meant is that, In my opinion, the current NT is to London and South East England what Sheffield Theatres is to Sheffield and South Yorkshire and a little beyond. If you live in the immediate catchment area, you tend to treat it simply as a regular provider of theatre productions of a high standard which you choose to attend or not according to personal taste or interest, etc.

But I think there should be more to a national theatre than just being an excellent regional theatre situated in the nation's capital city and replicating what every other regional theatre does but with more extravagance and more generous public funding. A national theatre should have an active interest in the theatre throughout the nation and also in the living and historical nation itself. It should also have active two-way international relationships.

If you compare the current NT with NTS and NTW, it seems to be hardly a national theatre to any significant extent, but instead to be more a favoured play factory and showcase.

#8 Epicoene

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:04 AM

View PostHonoured Guest, on 08 January 2013 - 09:01 PM, said:

What I meant is that ....

Yes, that echoes in a way what I thought about the RSC 50th anniversary which really disgracefully was a Stratford-only event from a company which has a national remit.

#9 Titan

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

completely agree honoured guest, and i live in the south. i also dont think a national theatre should just do plays. it should be all forms of theatre

#10 Epicoene

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 02:38 PM

Oh well, ha ha, there we have it, the 50th anniversary of our National Theatre will be marked by a single one-night special production dismissed as a "greatest hits" event by the director. How inclusive and uplfting !




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