At the tender age of 28 Nunn took the helm at the RSC where he was artistic director from 1968 to 1978. He went on to direct many West End, big budget musicals including Cats, Starlight Express, Aspects of Love and Sunset Boulevard.
During Nunn's five-plus years as National artistic director, he was frequently criticised in the press for "dumbing down" the South Bank with musicals, with some suggesting that this was for his own financial gain. But on his departure Nunn gave the National £2.3 million to be released over the next two years.
Since then Nunn has directed an acclaimed revival of Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea, starring Natasha Richardson at the Almeida Theatre. This October, his final NT musical, the Olivier Award-winning revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes, transferred to the West End's Theatre Royal Drury Lane where it is currently running.
His next production will be Skellig at the Young Vic which runs from 21 November 2003 to 31 January 2004.
Dame Judi Dench will present Nunn with his Lifetime Achievement award at a ceremony before a host of industry professionals on Sunday 2 November 2003.
- by Hannah Kennedy