Richard Eyre at the launch of Stephen Ward
Richard Eyre at the launch of Stephen Ward
© Dan Wooller

Former National Theatre artistic director Richard Eyre has spoken about the future of the venue and the pressure facing Nicholas Hytner's successor, who is expected to be announced later this month.

Speaking to WhatsOnStage.com at yesterday's launch of Stephen Ward, the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical he is directing, Eyre said:

"[Being NT artistic director] It's the best job in the world, and following Nick Hytner is a very tough act. Whoever does it will have to redefine the function and practice of the National Theatre or suffer from being regarded as Hytner-lite."

Eyre, who ran the National from 1987 to 1997, added: "I'm sure someone will be appointed who is of a different background and sensibility and will bring a different constituency to the National Theatre."

Among the current favourites for the job are Rufus Norris, the Young Vic's David Lan, Stephen Daldry and Sheffield Crucible's Daniel Evans.

See also: Our 'big list' of favourites for the National Theatre job

Richard Eyre (far right) at the launch of Stephen Ward
Richard Eyre (far right) at the launch of Stephen Ward