National Dumps Title & Bids for Trilogy???
Date: 28 January 2002
The Royal National Theatre, which has always insisted its acronym be just NT rather than RNT, is celebrating the Queen's Jubilee Year by dropping the "Royal" prefix from its programmes once and for all. In a Platform event held last October to mark the theatre's 25 years on the South Bank, the NT's three past and present artistic directors - Peter Hall, Richard Eyre and the soon-outgoing Trevor Nunn - all admitted that they'd been against the title from the start. The Queen opened the new building in March 1976, but few royals have frequented it since then. A spokesperson told The Observer newspaper the last anyone could recall a member of the royal family putting in an appearance was for the 1998 production of Oklahoma!, when the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret attended privately. Meanwhile, incoming artistic director Nicholas Hytner (who takes over in spring 2003) is said to be in advance negotiations to adapt Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials for the stage. Last week, the final instalment of Pullman's trilogy, The Amber Spyglass, became the first children's book to win the coveted Whitbread Prize.
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