National Theatre

Theatre, Public and national theatres South Bank
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National Theatre, The Shed  (© Philip Vile)
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© Philip Vile
 (© Philip Vile)
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© Philip Vile
 (© Philip Vile)
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© Philip Vile
Interior architecture (Rob Greig / Time Out)
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Rob Greig / Time Out
National Theatre (Rob Greig / Time Out)
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Rob Greig / Time Out
National Theatre architecture (Rob Greig / Time Out)
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Rob Greig / Time Out
National Theatre interior (Rob Greig / Time Out)
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Rob Greig / Time Out
National Theatre Stairs (Rob Greig / Time Out)
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Rob Greig / Time Out

The world's greatest theatre?

Arguably the greatest theatre in the world, the Royal National Theatre is also one of London's most iconic landmarks and perhaps this country's foremost example of brutalist architecture. It boasts four auditoriums – Olivier, Lyttelton, Dorfman and Temporary – a firm foothold on the West End thanks to 'War Horse' and 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time', 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 Nicholas Hytner, which saw a canny mix of modernised classics, popular new writing, the odd worthy excavation from the canon and a splash of hip experimental work fill out the houses night after night, something further driven by a major initiative to reduce ticket prices by actively seeking private sponsorship, notably that of Travelex, who heavily subside tickets in the Lyttelton and Olivier.

The current artistic director is Hytner's successor Rufus Norris, whose initial programming has stuck with many Hytner fundamentals but offered an edgier, more international spin.

Following major upgrade work in 2014, the National Theatre sports all manner of eating and drinking facilities, including flagship restaurant House. Our top tip is The Understudy, a fine riverside bar which brews its own lager and plays excellent music.

Posted:

Venue name: National Theatre
Contact:
Address: South Bank
London
SE1 9PX
Opening hours: 9.30am-11pm Mon-Sat (12noon-6pm Sun when there is a performance in the building)
Transport: Tube: Waterloo
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  • Walks and tours Until Thursday October 19 2017
  • Drama Until Saturday March 18 2017
  • Drama Until Tuesday June 6 2017
  • Experimental Until Saturday July 1 2017
  • Shakespeare Wednesday March 1 2017 - Saturday May 13 2017
  • Experimental Saturday March 4 2017 - Saturday March 18 2017
  • Drama Monday March 6 2017 - Tuesday March 21 2017
  • Drama Tuesday March 28 2017 - Wednesday May 17 2017
  • Drama Tuesday April 11 2017 - Saturday August 19 2017
  • Drama Tuesday May 2 2017 - Saturday July 15 2017
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