Page: 1

Time for a shake up at the National!?

Princeton2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/1/08
Time for a shake up at the National!?#1
Posted: 2/20/10 at 6:03am
Am I the only one who is bored by the National Theatres line up in recent years? The recent Donmar (and Menier for that matter) productions have far outshone the National)

And this isnt about the lack of musicals, although one would be nice, but just the sheer dullness of their seasons. Its so often the same actors, directors etc. I was also thinking, and I maybe wrong, but it feels like years since something from the National transfered to the West End, and Broadway for that matter. Was History Boys the last one?

MariusPontmercy Profile PhotoMariusPontmercy Profile Photo
MariusPontmercy
Broadway Star
joined:11/5/08
Broadway Star
joined:
11/5/08
Time for a shake up at the National!?#2
Posted: 2/20/10 at 6:26am
Have to disagree! I'm looking foward to Women Beware Women, After the Dance, London Assurance, The White Guard and various others in upcoming seasons and have already enjoyed Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and The Habit of Art this year.

As for transfers, War Horse went to the West End less than a year ago and is on its way to Broadway, as is The Pitmen Painters. The Seafarer was also on Broadway more recently than The History Boys. To be honest, rather than going to the West End I prefer it when their successul shows just come back to the NT for another season - cheaper tickets, nicer theatre!
Princeton2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/1/08
Time for a shake up at the National!?#2
Posted: 2/20/10 at 6:39am
Fair enough, god knows how I forgot about War Horse!!
peachesr
Stand-by
joined:9/30/09
Stand-by
joined:
9/30/09
Time for a shake up at the National!?#3
Posted: 2/20/10 at 6:48am
I recently saw Really Old Like Fourty Five and thought that was wonderful. I think they have a great season lined up and I'm a big fan of what Hytner has done down there. Plus Kinnear's Hamlet this winter...yay!
Mark_E Profile PhotoMark_E Profile Photo
Mark_E
Broadway Legend
joined:1/26/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/26/06
Time for a shake up at the National!?#4
Posted: 2/20/10 at 6:57am
^I thought Really Old, Like Forty Five was excellent also. Our Class last year was also an amazing piece of theatre.

I think the new season looks a bit of a bore to be honest, but i'll still go see them all and probably enjoy them. I just wish they were not so blatantly biased against musicals. The NT is perhaps the only chance we will ever get to seeing a full scale production of next to normal in the UK.
MamasDoin'Fine Profile PhotoMamasDoin'Fine Profile Photo
MamasDoin'Fine
Broadway Legend
joined:9/28/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/28/08
Time for a shake up at the National!?#5
Posted: 2/20/10 at 7:13am
I kind of agree but what you see at the National really depends on what you are into. I certainly wish they did more musicals, at least one a year.
I have seen every musical they have ever done and I'm more than a little hungry for the next!
Updated On: 2/20/10 at 07:13 AM
Phantom of London Profile PhotoPhantom of London Profile Photo
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/26/08
Time for a shake up at the National!?#6
Posted: 2/20/10 at 7:30am
I wish they (National) did more musical, then I might make my first visit in there, rather than passing it on the train every bloody day!
Scripps2 Profile PhotoScripps2 Profile Photo
Scripps2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/19/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/19/08
Time for a shake up at the National!?#7
Posted: 2/21/10 at 2:33pm
Even the plays aren't that good anymore; everything seems so effortfully topical. You can almost imagine the planning meetings:

"Errrr, we need a play about diversity - can someone write England People Very Nice please? And we need a play about the economic crisis - fcuk, Cirencester have already done something - get David on the 'phone - he can write The Power of Yes. And something to pacify the ordinary middle classes before euthanasia is legalised - Really Old Like 45 perhaps? And a kids show - who better than Mark to write that!"
MamasDoin'Fine Profile PhotoMamasDoin'Fine Profile Photo
MamasDoin'Fine
Broadway Legend
joined:9/28/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/28/08
Time for a shake up at the National!?#8
Posted: 2/22/10 at 9:31am
Very true Scripps.
MariusPontmercy Profile PhotoMariusPontmercy Profile Photo
MariusPontmercy
Broadway Star
joined:11/5/08
Broadway Star
joined:
11/5/08
Time for a shake up at the National!?#9
Posted: 2/22/10 at 9:43am
And a kids show - who better than Mark to write that!

One of the more baffling decisions they've made!

Thinking about it, the quality of the revivals I've seen there has been generally far higher than the new plays. But I'm not convinced that's a recent problem - I'm pretty sure people were saying the same when Nunn was in charge. No idea about before that - my theatre memory doesn't go back that far.

Just a thought I had reading some comments a while ago on another forum (probably WOS) - I think the criticism Hytner has received over his time in charge of the NT has made people forget just how good a director (of individual productions) he is. Maybe he should stick to doing that?
Updated On: 2/22/10 at 09:43 AM
MariusPontmercy Profile PhotoMariusPontmercy Profile Photo
MariusPontmercy
Broadway Star
joined:11/5/08
Broadway Star
joined:
11/5/08
Time for a shake up at the National!?#10
Posted: 2/22/10 at 9:48am
Updated On: 2/22/10 at 09:48 AM
devonian.t Profile Photodevonian.t Profile Photo
devonian.t
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/26/04
Time for a shake up at the National!?#11
Posted: 2/22/10 at 4:46pm
I find it worrying that a theatre for the nation has to be so "on message" all the time with the liberal agenda. Much as I agree with the politics most of the time, I'd be happy to hear dissenting voices and different views.

The place needs a few enfants terribles- even the likes of Berkoff who could still ruffle a few feathers. There seems to be a very narrow favoured few repeatedly working in the building, when it should be a very broad church!

Same applies with the writers: the formula seems to be wait for the next Hare and Bennett and fill the gaps with some PC tub-thumping and the annual Christmas children's offering.

Musical theatre is theatre. It should not be excluded from the national platform with this gesture of seemingly personal, arbitrary taste.
Jonwo
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/16/06
Time for a shake up at the National!?#12
Posted: 2/23/10 at 10:24am
Despite the criticisms of Nick Hytner, he has come up with some great productions in his tenure with His Dark Materials, History Boys, Coram Boy, Pitmen Painters and of course War Horse but it is suffering a bit from the same old, same old against other theatre companies like the Donmar, Royal Court and Menier who are producing some terrific stuff that is transferring to the West End and Broadway. I think adding a musical every 18 Months to two years would help diverse their slate.

Will be interesting who will eventually take over from Hytner, I think Michael Grandage or Rupert Goold would be my choice.
MariusPontmercy Profile PhotoMariusPontmercy Profile Photo
MariusPontmercy
Broadway Star
joined:11/5/08
Broadway Star
joined:
11/5/08
Time for a shake up at the National!?#13
Posted: 2/23/10 at 12:10pm
Rupert Goold might be good, but would he let anyone else direct anything, or do it all himself? Time for a shake up at the National!? Michael Grandage would be a safer choice... though whether that's a good or bad thing I'm not sure!

I think Hytner's done a decent job at the NT, he's just a bit unimaginative. I also think that because he's come under so much criticism for that, he's also quite underrated as a director of individual productions - the last two Alan Bennetts for example, as good plays as they are, wouldn't have been half as good without Hytner's contribution. Maybe he should stick to doing that.
Updated On: 2/23/10 at 12:10 PM
Jonwo
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/16/06
Time for a shake up at the National!?#14
Posted: 2/23/10 at 12:45pm
I'm not too bothered about the lack of musicals at the National but it would nice to see them especially at the Olivier or The Lyttelton although even during Trevor Nunn's tenure it was one musical a year to two years. I think it was the choice of musicals like Oklahoma, My Fair Lady and Anything Goes which got critics riled up as they could have easily succeeded in the West End, the only musicals Hynter has done were Jerry Springer the Opera which was a transfer from BAC and Edinburgh, A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Caroline, or Change.

Michael Grandage is more than capable running a venue, mixing classics with new plays and isn't afraid of musicals with commerical productions like Guys and Dolls and Evita and Donmar productions like Parade, Piaf and Passion. Plus intiative like Donmar West End and the upcoming Donmar Trafalgar season.