Nicholas Hytner, artistic director of the National Theatre, has told the New York Times he hopes to stay on for "couple of years or so" at the end of his current contract. He had previously been scheduled to leave the post in 2013. Hytner, who took over from Trevor Nunn in 2003 and has twice extended his contract, goes on to tell the paper of record he would "provide the National with continuity in an era when government support is less certain."

Speaking last autumn to coincide with publication of the National’s Annual Report, Hytner had said he would not be asking the board to extend his engagement, a move which sparking a flurry of speculation about who could replace him.

Projects like NT Live and international commercial successes such as War Horse have given the National something of a financial cushion and will help them weather Arts Council England cuts he goes on to tell the paper. The National could be looking to repeat the success of the Tony Award-winning War Horse which transferred to the Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre in April. There are plans a foot for One Man, Two Guvnors, which embarks on a UK tour next month before a West End run at the Adelphi, to transfer to Broadway following its limited London season.