Round one: Hytner versus Miller, 1-0 Hytner

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After Evening Standard awards and proposed cuts, I found this interesting…

Nicholas Hytner could be telling me about his theatre’s stellar summer, when shows in his three auditoria played to sold-out audiences. He could be talking about the fact that this week, his own production of Timon of Athens scooped an armful of trophies at the Evening Standard theatre awards. He could be talking about the show he is working on now: a pair of Alan Bennett memoirs, Hymn and Cocktail Sticks, to run this winter alongside the writer’s new play, People. He could even be telling me about the runaway success of War Horse, the hit Michael Morpurgo adaptation that is bringing in valuable revenue from its West End run.

But the man who has been artistic director of the National Theatre for nine years, presiding over a financially stable, and by common consent, artistically dazzling organisation, has no desire to talk about any of these things. Instead, this normally buoyant man is directing his considerable powers of rhetoric at more urgent matters: politics. Specifically, on questioning where the culture secretary, Maria Miller, stands on the place of the arts in British society. His fear is that the arts in England – sit “on a knife’s edge”. In his urgency to convey his anxiety, his mobile eyebrows dart, his sentences rush into great eddies of eloquence; and then he’ll pause and stare at the wall, hunting for the right form of words. He has a hint of Cassandra about him, for it is not at all clear that his dark prophecies are being taken seriously in Whitehall…

Read more on the Guardian website


Author: littlemissmandu

Polymath. Writer. Eurasian Daisy Steiner. Best Cheerleader '93.

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