The National Theatre is set to run a series of Platforms called National Histories, starting today, as part of the venue's 50th anniversary celebrations.

The series, which opens tonight with Nancy Carroll and Alex Jennings discussing their links with the theatre, sees some of the leading artists who have been part of the company talking about their relationship with the venue.

Artistic director Nicholas Hytner will take part in a Platform on 18 October with Rory Kinnear, as part of the season "celebrating the remarkable people and plays that made the NT one of the most cherished and creative of great British institutions".

Other people participating in the platforms include Adrian Lester, Trevor Nunn, Patricia Hodge, Juliet Stevenson, Imelda Staunton, Anna Carteret, Marianne Elliott, Clive Rowe, David Hare, Zoe Wanamaker, Kenneth Cranham, Fiona Shaw, Joan Plowright, Alan Bennett, Richard Eyre, Julie Walters and Simon Russell Beale.

The National Theatre opened at the Old Vic in 1963 under Laurence Olivier and has seen more than 800 productions. The National Histories will ask people the "the who, what, when, where and why of their recollections of the National".

Other 50th anniversary celebrations include a star-studded gala to be broadcast on BBC 2 on 2 November, and a series of encore screenings of past productions through NT Live, as well as Platforms exploring the changing face of theatre over the last 50 years and looking ahead to the future.