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Nicholas Hytner wins the Theatre Book Prize for Balancing Acts

The annual prize is awarded by the Society for Theatre Research

Rory Kinnear and Nicholas Hytner
(© Ben Wooldridge)

Nicholas Hytner, artistic director of the Bridge Theatre and previous head of the National Theatre, has won the Theatre Book Prize 2018.

Hytner won the award for his book Balancing Acts: Behind the Scenes at the National Theatre, published by Jonathan Cape.

The book beat other titles on the shortlist which included Black British Drama – A Transnational Story by Michael Pearce, London Theatres by Michael Coveney and Peter Dazeley and Shakespeare on Stage: Vol 2 – Twelve Leading Actors on Twelve Key Roles by Julian Curry.

Actor Rory Kinnear presented the award to Hytner at the event, held at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The award was founded in order to encourage the writing and publication of books on all aspects of theatre history and practice. Judges this year included Sam Marlowe, Paul Miller and Jeffrey Richards.

Hytner said of his win: "As well as an opportunity to get off my chest and on to paper all of the stories that I have built up over the years, writing this book has also been a learning experience that has enabled me to think about exactly what I have learnt and who I have learnt it from...

"I have always relished going into a room with lots of people... There is nothing in the book that isn't a consequence of knowing the people I've learnt from."

He added: "One hundred thousand words is just about enough to think seriously about and respond to the complications of the world of theatre."