Theatre News

Lenny Henry joins board of National Theatre

The actor was knighted for his services to drama in 2015

Lenny Henry
Lenny Henry
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The National Theatre have announced that Sir Lenny Henry will become a member of the theatre's board.

The actor made his NT debut in The Comedy of Errors in 2011 and has since starred in Othello for Northern Broadsides and West Yorkshire Playhouse. He won the Evening Standard Outstanding Newcomer Award in 2009. He also received the Critics' Circle best actor award for Fences in the West End.

Rufus Norris, artistic director at the National Theatre said today: "It's great that Lenny is joining the board of the NT because he is an artist, which, with the exception of Kate Mosse, we've been missing [on the board] for a while.

"Lenny is very active in all kinds of areas, particularly in terms of diversity and that's one of the main parts of work we want to be moving forward with him over the next five years. He's a great ambassador for theatre and the arts and we're very lucky to have him."

At a press conference today, Norris also announced that they would not be producing any new plays at the Temporary Theatre beyond April.

Norris said: "We got planning permission until April next year. We don't yet know whether we will be knocking it down after the last project.

"We are facing the reality of losing over 30 per cent in real terms of our subsidies since 2010 and we've been looking at various ways of contracting the organisation. There are certain initiatives we have taken."

He continued: "We've been very clear that there are certain parts of the organisation that need to expand at this time. The new work department, the literary department, our regional engagement and learning and diversity."

"We aren't producing beyond May, in [the Temporary Theatre]. We have looked very carefully at the evidence over the last few years and we're going to stop performing on Sundays. We will be keeping part of the organisation open, because the Southbank has become such an incredible part of London's life, particularly in the summer."

Read the full line up of the new season here