Balancing Acts - Behind The Scenes At The National Theatre

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
20170507Nicholas Hytner reads his memoir of 12 years running The National Theatre.
01A Typical Day2017050120201130 (BBC7)
20201201 (BBC7)
Nicholas Hytner tells the inside story of 12 years at the helm of Britain's greatest theatre.

It's a tale of lunatic failures and spectacular successes like The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors. And opening the National Theatre's doors in London to a broader audience than ever before - and changing the public's perception of what theatre is for.

It's about probing Shakespeare from every angle and reinventing the classics. About fostering new talent and directing some of the most celebrated actors of our times – from Alan Bennett and Maggie Smith to Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren.

Intimate, candid and insightful, Balancing Acts is a passionate exploration of the art and alchemy of making theatre.

In this opening episode, Nicholas Hynter describes his typical day as the theatre's Director.

Producer: Simon Richardson.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in May 2017.

Nicholas Hytner describes his typical day as the theatre's director.

Nicholas Hytner's memoir of 12 years running the National Theatre. Read by the author.

The inside story of twelve years at the helm of Britain's greatest theatre. It is a story of lunatic failures and spectacular successes such as The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors; of opening the doors of the National Theatre to a broader audience than ever before, and changing the public's perception of what theatre is for.

It is about probing Shakespeare from every angle and reinventing the classics. About fostering new talent and directing some of the most celebrated actors of our times. Its cast includes the likes of Alan Bennett, Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren.

Today Hynter describes his typical day as the theatre's Director.

Written and read by Nicholas Hytner
Produced by Simon Richardson.

Serialised book readings, featuring works from various genres

02Shakespeare2017050220201201 (BBC7)
20201202 (BBC7)
Nicholas Hytner continues his inside story of 12 years at the helm of Britain's greatest theatre.

Recollections of his first production of William Shakespeare at The National Theatre - Henry V, starring Adrian Lester.

Intimate, candid and insightful, Balancing Acts is a passionate exploration of the art and alchemy of making theatre.

Written and read by Nicholas Hytner

Producer: Simon Richardson.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in May 2017.

Nicholas Hytner's memoir of 12 years running the National Theatre, read by the author.

The inside story of twelve years at the helm of Britain's greatest theatre. It is a story of lunatic failures and spectacular successes such as The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors; of opening the doors of the National Theatre to a broader audience than ever before, and changing the public's perception of what theatre is for.

It is about probing Shakespeare from every angle and reinventing the classics. About fostering new talent and directing some of the most celebrated actors of our times. Its cast includes the likes of Alan Bennett, Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren.

Today Hynter recalls his first production of Shakespeare at The National Theatre - Henry V, starring Adrian Lester.

Written and read by Nicholas Hytner
Produced by Simon Richardson.

Serialised book readings, featuring works from various genres

03Alan Bennett2017050320190720 (BBC7)
20201202 (BBC7)
20201203 (BBC7)
Nicholas Hytner continues his inside story of 12 years at the helm of Britain's greatest theatre.

Recollections of his fecund creative relationship with actor and playwright, Alan Bennett.

Nicholas reveals how they came to meet and the incredible performances they created together. He fondly remembers their highly successful play 'The History Boys', and how it was brought to life.

Intimate, candid and insightful, Balancing Acts is a passionate exploration of the art and alchemy of making theatre.

Written and read by Nicholas Hytner

Producer: Simon Richardson.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in May 2017.

Nicholas Hytner's memoir of 12 years running the National Theatre, read by the author.

The inside story of 12 years at the helm of the National Theatre. It is a story of lunatic failures and spectacular successes such as The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors; of opening the doors of the National Theatre to a broader audience than ever before, and changing the public's perception of what theatre is for.

It is about probing Shakespeare from every angle and reinventing the classics. About fostering new talent and directing some of the most celebrated actors of our times. Among others, Nicholas Hytner has worked alongside Alan Bennett, Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren.

Today Hytner describes his fecund creative relationship with Alan Bennett. How they came to meet and the incredible performances they created together. He remembers fondly their highly successful play 'The History Boys', and how it was brought to life.

Produced by Simon Richardson

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2017.

Serialised book readings, featuring works from various genres

04Pullman And Morpurgo2017050420201203 (BBC7)
20201204 (BBC7)
Nicholas Hytner continues his inside story of 12 years at the helm of Britain's greatest theatre.

Recollections of how the seemingly impossible can become the most magical. Particularly when it comes to putting animals on stage - through his productions of Philip Pullman's Dark Materials and Michael Morpurgo's War Horse.

Intimate, candid and insightful, Balancing Acts is a passionate exploration of the art and alchemy of making theatre.

Written and read by Nicholas Hytner

Producer: Simon Richardson.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in May 2017.

Nicholas Hytner's memoir of 12 years running the National Theatre, read by the author.

The inside story of twelve years at the helm of Britain's greatest theatre. It is a story of lunatic failures and spectacular successes such as The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors; of opening the doors of the National Theatre to a broader audience than ever before, and changing the public's perception of what theatre is for.

It is about probing Shakespeare from every angle and reinventing the classics. About fostering new talent and directing some of the most celebrated actors of our times. Its cast includes the likes of Alan Bennett, Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren.

Today Hynter shows us how the seemingly impossible can become the most magical when it comes to putting animals on stage, through his productions of Philip Pullman's Dark Materials and Michael Morpurgo's War Horse.

Written and read by Nicholas Hytner
Produced by Simon Richardson.

Serialised book readings, featuring works from various genres

Today Hynter shows us how the seemingly impossible can become the most magical when it comes to putting animals on stage, through his productions of Philip Pullman's Dark Materials and War Horse.

05 LAST50 Years2017050520201204 (BBC7)
20201205 (BBC7)
Nicholas Hytner concludes his inside story of 12 years at the helm of Britain's greatest theatre.

Recollections of the birth of NT Live and The National's 50th Anniversary commemorations.

Intimate, candid and insightful, Balancing Acts is a passionate exploration of the art and alchemy of making theatre.

Written and read by Nicholas Hytner

Producer: Simon Richardson.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in May 2017.

Nicholas Hytner's memoir of 12 years running the National Theatre, read by the author.

Serialised book readings, featuring works from various genres

The inside story of twelve years at the helm of Britain's greatest theatre. It is a story of lunatic failures and spectacular successes such as The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors; of opening the doors of the National Theatre to a broader audience than ever before, and changing the public's perception of what theatre is for.

It is about probing Shakespeare from every angle and reinventing the classics. About fostering new talent and directing some of the most celebrated actors of our times. Its cast includes the likes of Alan Bennett, Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren.

Today Hynter looks back at the birth of NT Live and recalls The National's 50th Anniversary commemorations.

Written and read by Nicholas Hytner
Produced by Simon Richardson.