Time Out says
The world's greatest theatre?
Arguably the greatest theatre in the world, the Royal National Theatre is also one of London's most recognisable landmarks and perhaps this country's foremost example of brutalist architecture. It boasts three auditoriums – the epic, ampitheatre-style Olivier, the substantial end-on space Lyttelton and the Dorfman, a smaller venue for edgier work. It's got a firm foothold on the West End, thanks to transferring shows like 'War Horse' and 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time'. In summer, it spills out onto Southbank with its River Stage line-up of outdoor events. And its NT Live programme beams its greatest hits to cinemas across the globe.
NT Live is just one of the initiatives to issue forth from the golden reign of former artistic director Nicholas Hytner, which saw a canny mix of modernised classics, popular new writing, and a splash of hip experimental work fill out the houses night after night. These days, Hytner's successor Rufus Norris calls the shots, with a programme that's stuck with many Hytner fundamentals but offered an edgier, more international spin, with a run of ambitious, experimental and often divisive works.
The NT is a popular hangout for theatre fans, thanks to its warren-like array of spots to work and play. The theatre's busy Kitchen churns out an impressively quirky, delicious array of seasonal baked goods, and there are pre-theatre dinners on offer at flagship restaurant House. But the real insider's hangout is The Understudy, a rough-and-ready riverside bar which brews its own lager and is thronged with theatre hipsters on pretty much any night of the week.
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Costume at the National Theatre
The National Theatre costume department is a land of absolute marvels. Housed on-site at the Southbank theatre, it sources, sews, alters and dresses performers for 20 new productions per year (and bear in mind that the NT is one of the few London theatres...Until Saturday June 27 2020
‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ review
Considering how popular fantasy literature and its adaptations currently are, it feels like a bit of an omission that we see so little of it on stage. But Joel Horwood’s over-twelves version of Neil Gaiman’s 2013 novel ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’...Children's Until Saturday January 25 2020
Lucy Kirkwood follows up her 2017 National Theatre hit ‘Mosquitoes’ – about an experimental physicist – with something completely different. Directed by James Macdonald, ‘The Welkin’ is set in rural Suffolk, 1759 and stars Ria Zmitrowicz as Sally Poppy,...Drama Thursday January 23 2020 - Saturday March 28 2020
‘Three Sisters’ review
Anton Chekhov’s melancholy, endlessly adaptable sisters have shown up in plenty of guises on London’s stages this year. In Inua Ellams’s version for the National Theatre, their misery is given a tumultuous new backdrop; they’re living in the newly declared...Drama Monday January 27 2020 - Wednesday February 19 2020
A walloping decade after his last play, the great Tony Kushner returns with this adaptation of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s 1956 tragicomedy about an immensely wealthy woman who returns to her hometown ready to turn its fortunes around – but only if the townspeople...Drama Friday January 31 2020 - Saturday April 4 2020
Death of England
Rafe Spall stars as Michael, a man in mourning for his late father, who decides to confront the dead man’s legacy at his funeral in this new monologue from Roy Williams and Clint Dyer. It’s directed by Dyer, who becomes the first black artist to have...Drama Friday January 31 2020 - Saturday March 7 2020
‘My Brilliant Friend’ review
I can personally confirm that you absolutely don’t have to have read Elena Ferrante’s acclaimed Neapolitan novels to appreciate this gloriously widescreen, five-hour, two-part adaptation from April De Angelis, which transfers to the NT in souped-up form...Drama Monday February 17 2020 - Saturday February 22 2020
The Seven Streams of the River Ota
To mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, Robert Lepage has brought back this seven-hour-long epic, last seen at the National Theatre in 1996. The weighty drama follows a group of Hiroshima survivors and their descendents, and sims...Experimental Friday March 6 2020 - Sunday March 22 2020
All of Us
Francesca Martinez has made a name for herself as an actor, a comedian, and an outspoken campaigner on disabled rights; she has cerebral palsy, and delivered a powerful speech against government cuts on BBC's Question Time. Now she's adding another string...Drama Wednesday March 18 2020 - Saturday May 16 2020
Director and playwright Jude Christian has turned her hand to everything from experimental theatre starring live piglets to Lyric Hammermith's annual panto. 'Hamlet' will doubtless see her at the lighter end of the spectrum; it's a Shakespeare adaptation...Shakespeare Monday March 30 2020 - Thursday April 9 2020
Users say (20)
Average User Rating
4.8 / 5
- 5 star:17
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
The national theatre puts on epically large productions with beautiful set designs that you can't help be impressed by. I love that they're so openly encouraging to get people from all works of life into theatre thought NT live and their young person discounts. However, my teeny tiny qualm would be that the productions can feel slightly too big - you sometimes loose the beautiful intimacy that you can find in my very favourite theatre (the Old Vic). That being said - a ticket purchase here will never be too far wrong!
An amazing contemporary venue that allows you get up close to stars big and small in a tremendously creative space.
Might be the most special venue in the entire world for me. You could spend the entire day here and fell at home & entertainted. Contantly changing yet stays the most welcoming. It may look like a fortress from the outside but once you step in you just don't wanna leave. Magic space! Happy 52th birthday, btw )
A wonderful space for the public as well as a place to see some fantastic theatre, often at extremely reasonable prices. Really good coffee too!
Nothing like the National! Best night out in London and seeing the inner workings of his great theater is a delight! Don miss it!!
The National never fail in excelling with putting on some first class pieces of theatre. The Travelex season makes it even sweeter, as well as the building being a great example of brutalist architecture, and located in one of my favourite parts of London.
Outstanding. If you haven't been to watch something here yet, you haven't experienced true London. This is how theatre should be done.
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