Michael Grandage and Rupert Goold will both be making their National Theatre debuts in 2009 (See News, 17 Sep 2008). Both directors are riding incredibly high at the moment, with Grandage having just launched his Donmar West End season and Goold, a hat trick of Best Director awards under his belt for last year’s Macbeth, making a three-pronged attack on the West End this autumn with Pirandello, Pinter and Lionel Bart, not to mention being recently appointed as an associate director at the RSC.

Both men – Grandage in particular – have at various points been mentioned as heir apparents to current NT artistic director Nicholas Hytner. Do next year’s debuts give the nod to either? Speaking to Whatsonstage.com at this week’s press briefing on publication of the NT’s Annual Report, Hytner said: “I think it’s important for everybody who might be considered for this job to have worked here.”

As for who he’d pick to succeed him, Hytner is “unbiased”, but insists it’s far too early to be biased since “I’m going nowhere”. He plans to remain in situ until at least 2013, after the Olympics.

Grandage will direct Georg Buchner’s 1835 piece about the French Revolution, Danton’s Death, while Goold will helm JB Priestley’s 1937 “time play” Time and the Conways. Hytner said he’d been talking “for ages” to the pair about working at the NT and both “lobbied” for the plays they’re undertaking.