Nicholas Hytner in rehearsals for Othello (photo: Johan Persson)
Nicholas Hytner in rehearsals for Othello

Hytner announces National departure

Published April 10, 2013

Nicholas Hytner, the Director of the National Theatre, has announced that he will leave the iconic institution in March 2015.

Speaking about his decision, he said: “It’s been a joy and a privilege to lead the National Theatre for 10 years and I’m looking forward to the next two. I have the most exciting and most fulfilling job in the English-speaking theatre; and after 12 years it will be time to give someone else a turn to enjoy the company of my stupendous colleagues, who together make the National what it is.”

Hytner joined the Southbank venue in 2003, taking over from Trevor Nunn. Among the innovations introduced during his time at the theatre are the Travelex £10 – now £12 – season, Sunday performances and the NT Live cinema screenings. He has overseen successful productions ranging from Adrian Lester’s Henry V to War Horse, Elmina’s Kitchen to The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time and The History Boys to One Man, Two Guvnors. At this year’s Olivier Awards with MasterCard, productions staged by the National Theatre received 14 nominations.

Before leaving, Hytner will hope to see the culmination of NT Future. The £70 million project includes redevelopment of the Cottesloe theatre, which will reopen as the Dorfman, the creation of a new learning centre, production building, backstage viewing walkway for theatregoers and public garden, and improvements to equipment, services and facilities.

Nick Starr, who has served as Executive Director at the National Theatre since 2002, has also announced that he will step down, slightly earlier in 2014.

John Makinson, Chairman of the National Theatre, commented: “Nick Hytner and Nick Starr have led the National Theatre to undreamt levels of creative and commercial success over the past decade. Today’s announcement will not come as a surprise, as we have known for some time that they planned to initiate a phased succession process in the course of 2013. It is a sad moment for the National Theatre nonetheless.

“The Board will now begin the formal process of identifying a new Director. The position will be advertised next week and we expect to announce the appointment in the autumn. The new Executive Director will be appointed once the Director Designate is in place.”