Time Out says
The world's greatest theatre?
The National Theatre is closed due to the coronavirus epidemic. Shows won’t restart until at least July, although one show a week from the NT Live vaults will be streamed on Thursday nights from April 2.
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
'Hamlet' is postponed due to Covid-19 Director and playwright Jude Christian has turned her hand to everything from experimental theatre starring live piglets to Lyric Hammermith's annual panto. ‘Hamlet’ – which she adapts and Tinuke Craig directs – will...Shakespeare Until Thursday April 9 2020
‘The Visit’ review POSTPONED
'The Visit' is postponed due to Covid-19 It is, make no mistake, absolutely wonderful to have Tony Kushner back doing plays again after a decade or so of doing diversionary stuff like writing massively successful Oscar-winning films. It’s maybe a little...Drama Until Wednesday May 13 2020
All of Us POSTPONED
'All of Us' is postponed due to Covid-19 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...Drama Until Saturday May 16 2020
Jack Absolute Flies Again
Richard Bean's farce 'One Man, Two Guvnors' has been one of the NT's biggest hits of recent years, so it's no surprise that he's loosely adapting another historical comedy for the theatre's massive Olivier mainstage. 'Jack Absolute Flies Again' is based...Comedy Wednesday April 15 2020 - Saturday June 20 2020
Alanna Mitchell's devastating monologue about global warming and the planet's heating seas is coming to the National Theatre, after a hit run at the Edinburgh fringe. She uses scientific research and mesmerising projections to narrate her journey into...Drama Wednesday April 22 2020 - Thursday May 7 2020
Before hitting the big time as a poet and performer, Kate Tempest wrote a string of well-received mid-sized plays, notably ‘Wasted’ and ‘Hopelessly Devoted’ for Paines Plough. She’s had a busy last few years becoming a household name with the solo stuff,...Drama Tuesday June 30 2020 - Saturday August 1 2020
Romeo & Juliet
Rising star Josh O'Connor has won an avid fanbase for his roles in 'God's Own Country' and 'The Durrells', and there was a notable buzz when it was announced he'll play a young Prince Charles in the forthcoming new season of 'The Crown'. He's set to woo...Shakespeare Saturday August 15 2020
Users say (20)
Average User Rating
4.8 / 5
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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.