Balancing Acts - Behind The Scenes At The National Theatre

Episodes

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032017050320190720 (BBC7)

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.

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

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.

Written and read by Nicholas Hytner

Produced by Simon Richardson

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2017.

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

Serialised book readings, featuring works from various genres