Following an invitation from NT artistic director Nicholas Hytner, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, his wife Sarah and two friends recently paid a visit to the National to see Hytner’s production of Rafta, Rafta. Afterwards, they went backstage and had drinks with Hytner and members of the company in the private Green Room bar. At yesterday’s press briefing to launch the National Theatre’s 2006-7 Annual Report (See News, 2 Oct 2007), Hytner recalled: “It was very funny watching people come into the bar and do a double-take.”

Hytner expects the new PM to visit again in future – he’ll certainly be inviting him at regular six-month intervals. “It’s just good sense, and good manners,” the artistic director told journalists. The UK’s flagship theatre, National receives some £18 million per annum in arts subsidy from the government.