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Encyclopedia > Royal National Theatre
The Royal National Theatre from Waterloo Bridge
The Royal National Theatre from Waterloo Bridge

The Royal National Theatre is a building complex and theatre company located on the South Bank in London, England immediately east of the southern end of Waterloo Bridge. The National Theatre was designed by architect Sir Denys Lasdun and opened in 1976. The honorific "Royal" was added to the name in 1988. National Theatre from Waterloo Bridge. ... National Theatre from Waterloo Bridge. ... (This article is about the area of London called South Bank. For the similarly named area of Brisbane, please see South Bank Parklands, Brisbane) The South Bank is the area in London on the southern bank of the River Thames near Waterloo station that houses a number of important cultural... ‹ The template below has been proposed for deletion. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification    - by Athelstan 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi   - Water (%) Population... View of the old Waterloo Bridge from Whitehall stairs, John Constable, 18 June 1817 Waterloo Bridge. ... Architect at his drawing board, 1893 An architect is a person involved in the planning, designing and oversight of a buildings construction. ... Sir Denys Lasdun (8 September 1914-11 January 2001) was an eminent English architect of the 20th century, particularly associated with the Modernist design of the Royal National Theatre on Londons South Bank of the River Thames. ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ...


In the years from 1963, before the south bank complex was completed in 1976, the National Theatre Company, as it was then usually termed, was based at the Old Vic theatre in Waterloo. The exterior of the Old Vic. ... The BFI London IMAX cinema towards the north-west end of Waterloo Road. ...


It houses three separate auditoria:

  • The Olivier Theatre (named after the theatre's first artistic director, Sir Laurence Olivier), the largest space, is the main auditorium, and was modelled on the ancient Greek theatre at Epidaurus; it has an open stage and a fan-shaped audience seating area for about 1,160 people. The stage is made up of a rotating cylinder enclosed by an additional rotating ring. The cylinder also rises up and down out of the stage to allow for scenery changes.
  • The Cottesloe Theatre (named after Lord Cottesloe, chairman of the South Bank Theatre Board) is a small adaptable studio space holding up to 300 people, depending on the seating configuration.

The National Theatre presents a highly varied programme, including Shakespeare and other classics, new plays by leading contemporary playwrights, and revivals of classic musicals. Each theatre can run up to three shows each in repertoire or repertory, thus further widening the number of plays which can be put on during any one season. Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM (22 May 1907–11 July 1989) was an Academy Award winning English actor, Academy Award nominated director, and an Academy Award winning producer. ... Ancient Greece is the period in Greek history which lasted for around one thousand years and ended with the rise of Christianity. ... Panoramic view of the theater at Epidaurus Epidaurus (Epidauros) was a small city (polis) in ancient Greece at the Saronic Gulf. ... Oliver Lyttelton, 1st Viscount Chandos (1893-1972) was a British businessman who was brought into government during the Second World War, holding a number of ministerial posts. ... A proscenium arch is a square frame around a raised stage area in traditional theatres. ... In theatre, a repertoire system can operate when a theatre has many plays (or musicals, ballets, operas, etc. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


The National Theatre's foyers are open to the public, with a large theatrical bookshop, restaurants, bars and exhibition spaces. Backstage tours run throughout the day, and there is usually live music in the foyer before performances.

The Brutalist style of the National Theatre has sometimes been described as an obstacle preventing the general public from embracing the building. However a recent lighting scheme illuminating the exterior of the building, in particular its fly towers, has proved very popular.
The Brutalist style of the National Theatre has sometimes been described as an obstacle preventing the general public from embracing the building. However a recent lighting scheme illuminating the exterior of the building, in particular its fly towers, has proved very popular.

The South Bank Centre showing elevated terraces and walkways. ... The South Bank Centre showing elevated terraces and walkways. ... Brutalism is an architectural style that spawned from the Modernist architectural movement and which flourished from the 1950s to the 1970s. ... A fly tower is a part of a theatre above the stage where flat scenery in the form of gauzes, cloths and flats are stored and flown in when needed. ...

Artistic directors

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM (22 May 1907–11 July 1989) was an Academy Award winning English actor, Academy Award nominated director, and an Academy Award winning producer. ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... Sir Peter Reginald Frederick Hall (born 22 November 1930) is a British theatre and film director. ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sir Richard Eyre, (born 28 March 1943), is a British film and theatre director. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sir Trevor King (born 14 January 1940) is a loser and film director. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Nicholas Hytner (born May 7, 1956) is an award-winning British theatrical and opera producer and director. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Notable productions

Othello and Desdemona in Venice by Théodore Chassériau (1819–1856) Othello: The Moor of Venice is a tragedy by Shakespeare written around 1603. ... Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM (22 May 1907–11 July 1989) was an Academy Award winning English actor, Academy Award nominated director, and an Academy Award winning producer. ... Scene from As you like it, Francis Hayman, c. ... Clifford Williams (1926–20 August 2005) was a Welsh theatre director and stage actor. ... Ronald Pickup is a well-established British actor, born in Chester, Cheshire on 7 June 1940. ... Jeremy Brett in the role of Sherlock Holmes. ... Sir Derek Jacobi plays Gracchus in Gladiator. ... Sir Robert Stephens (July 14, 1931 – November 12, 1995) was a leading actor in the early years of Britains Royal National Theatre. ... The exterior of the Old Vic. ... Oedipus the King (also known as Oedipus Rex and Oedipus Tyrannos, Oι̉δίπoυς τύραννoς in Greek) is a Greek tragedy, written by Sophocles in 428 BCE. The play was the second of Sophocles three Theban plays to be produced, but comes first in the internal chronology of the plays, followed... Peter Stephen Paul Brook CH CBE (born 21 March 1925) is a highly influential British theatrical producer and director. ... Edward James Hughes, OM, referred to normally as Ted Hughes, (August 17, 1930 – October 28, 1998) was an English poet and childrens writer. ... John Gielgud as photographed in 1936 by Carl Van Vechten Sir Arthur John Gielgud OM, CH (14 April 1904 – 21 May 2000), known as Sir John Gielgud, was an English theatre and film actor, regarded by many as one of the greatest British actors in history. ... Irene Worth on her recital disc Her Infinite Variety Irene Worth, Honorary CBE, (born Harriet Elizabeth Abrams June 23, 1916 in Fairbury, Nebraska - died March 9, 2002 in New York) was a distinguished stage and screen actress who became one of the leading stars of the English and American theatre. ... The exterior of the Old Vic. ... DVD cover Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is a humorous, absurdist, tragic and existentialist play by Tom Stoppard, first staged in 1966. ... Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE (born Tomáš Straussler on 3 July 1937) is a British playwright. ... Edward Petherbridge is a British actor. ... The exterior of the Old Vic. ... Jumpers is a 1972 play by Tom Stoppard. ... Arcadia is a play by Tom Stoppard which first opened at the Royal National Theatre in London on 13 April 1993 and has played at many theatres since. ... The Coast of Utopia is a 2002 trilogy of plays by Tom Stoppard, focused upon the philosophical debates in pre-revolutionary Russia, covering the years 1833 to 1866. ... Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE (born Tomáš Straussler on 3 July 1937) is a British playwright. ... The Royal Hunt of the Sun is a Peter Shaffer play that portrays the destruction of the Inca by conquistador Francisco Pizarro. ... Equus is a play by Peter Shaffer which tells the story of a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a young man who has a pathological fascination with horses. ... Amadeus is the title of a stage play written in 1979 by Peter Shaffer, loosely based on the lives of the composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. ... Peter Shaffer (born May 15, 1926) is a English dramatist, author of numerous award-winning plays, several of which have been filmed. ... A detail of the engraving of Daniel Maclises 1842 painting The Play-scene in Hamlet, portraying the moment when the guilt of Claudius is revealed. ... Albert Finney is an English actor, born 9 May 1936 in Salford, Lancashire, England. ... Kenneth Victor Campbell (born December 10, 1941 in Ilford, Essex) is a British writer, actor, director and comedian, known for his unconventional work in theatre. ... Cover of the collected edition The Illuminatus! Trilogy is a series of three novels written by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. ... Lark Rise to Candleford is a trilogy of semi-autobiographical novels about the English countryside, written by Flora Thompson, and first published in that form in 1945. ... The Mysteries is an instrumental piece written by David Bowie. ... Betrayal, as a form of deception, is the violation of a social contract (trust, confidence) that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship between individuals, organizations, or individuals and organizations. ... Harold Pinter Pinter redirects here. ... Sir David Hare (born June 5, 1947) is an English dramatist and director. ... Edward Bond (born July 18, 1934) is an English playwright, theatre director, theorist and screenwriter. ... Romans in Britain is a stage play by Howard Brenton that comments upon imperialism and the abuse of power. ... Howard Brenton (born December 13, 1942) is an English playwright, who was educated at St Catharines College, Cambridge. ... Mary Whitehouse in her later years. ... Guys and Dolls is a successful 1950 musical. ... A detail of the engraving of Daniel Maclises 1842 painting The Play-scene in Hamlet, portraying the moment when the guilt of Claudius is revealed. ... Daniel Day-Lewis in the 1988 film The Unbearable Lightness of Being Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis (born 29 April 1957) is an Academy Award-winning English/Irish actor. ... Dame Judi Dench as the widowed Queen Victoria in Dame Judith Olivia Dench, CH, DBE (born 9 December 1934), known as Dame Judi Dench, is an Academy Award-winning English actress born in North Yorkshire. ... Antony and Cleopatra is a historical tragedy by William Shakespeare, first performed in 1607 or 1608 and printed in the First Folio, 1623. ... Sir Anthony Hopkins Sir Anthony Hopkins (IPA: ) KBE (born December 31, 1937) is an Oscar-winning Welsh-born actor. ... Dame Judi Dench as the widowed Queen Victoria in Dame Judith Olivia Dench, CH, DBE (born 9 December 1934), known as Dame Judi Dench, is an Academy Award-winning English actress born in North Yorkshire. ... Sir David Hare (born June 5, 1947) is an English dramatist and director. ... Howard Brenton (born December 13, 1942) is an English playwright, who was educated at St Catharines College, Cambridge. ... David Soul stars as Jerry Springer. ... Stewart Lee (born April 5, 1968) is a British stand-up comedian, writer and director probably best known for being one half of the 1990s comedy duo Lee and Herring, and for co-writing and directing the successful and controversial stage show Jerry Springer - The Opera. ... Richard Thomas is the name of: Richard Thomas (actor) (b. ... An Inspector Calls is a popular drama written in 1946, by the British dramatist J.B. Priestley. ... Priestley at the microphone during one of his Second World War broadcasts John Matthew Smith Priestley, OM (September 13, 1894, Bradford, England - August 14, 1984, Stratford-upon-Avon) was an English writer and broadcaster. ... The trilogy (non-North American versions), in order of succession from left to right. ... Philip Pullman Philip Pullman, (born October 19, 1946) is an English writer, educated at Exeter College, Oxford, who is the best-selling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy of fantasy novels and a number of other books, purportedly for children, but attracting increasing attention by adult readers. ... The Madness of King George is a 1994 film which tells the story of King George IIIs deteriorating mental health, and the equally declining relationship between him and his son, the Prince of Wales, particularly focusing on the period around the Regency Crisis of 1788. ... The History Boys is a play by Alan Bennett. ... Published by Faber/Profile Books in 2005 Alan Bennett (born May 9, 1934) is an English author and actor famous for his work, schoolboy-like appearance and his sonorous Yorkshire accent. ...

External link

  • Official website

 
 

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