The National Goes Outside Its Comfort Zone

“It’s easy to forget that it’s only 18 months since Nicholas Hytner took over the [UK’s] National Theatre. The territory he’s opened up has been extensive and the dividends tremendous, in financial as well as artistic terms: record ticket sales; a steady stream of first-time attenders (encouraged by the cheap seats policy); audience numbers which rose by 150,000 to 750,000… Now Hytner is taking one step further. For the first time, the National has set out to develop a relationship with one of the young independent companies which has been revolutionising the idea of what the theatre can be.”