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Hytner Reveals Impact of War Horse & Guvnors in NT Report

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The National Theatre has today (3 October 2011) published its annual report for the year 2010-11. In addition to full financial statements for the South Bank institution, the report includes a review of the past year which saw 25 productions give 1,503 performances, plans for the NT Future redevelopment project of the NT Cottesloe and adjoining spaces, and statements by the National's artistic director Nicholas Hytner and chairman John Makinson.

Headline figures released by the National Theatre include:

  • The total paying audience for productions reached 1.6 million people with an average attendance of 90% on the South Bank and 97% for War Horse, the National production which transferred to the New London Theatre in April 2009 following two Christmas seasons in the NT Olivier.
  • The National generating income of £70.6 million. This consisted of 48% box office receipts and 28% Arts Council funding.
  • The year ended with a surplus of £387,000 of unrestricted funds having designated the surplus from War Horse to the NT Future redevelopment project, and increased capital and maintenance works.
  • Frankenstein, directed by Danny Boyle and Bill T Jones’ Afrobeat musical FELA! attracted first time bookers of 36% and 49% respectively.
  • The National has raised more than £30 million of the £70 million required for NT Future including the £10 million donation from Travelex Chairman Lloyd Dorfman which will see the NT Cottesloe renamed after him. The National's own contribution stands at £5.7 million. Planning permission has been secured and the project is now in the detailed design phase.
  • The National's 14-week free Watch This Space festival on the South Bank attracted 53,000 people; 28,850 people attended the National's talk-back Platform events; and 26,000 theatregoers took backstage tours.
  • NT Live, the National's programme of streaming productions live to cinemas saw eight productions attract an audience of 145,000 in the UK and 215,000 overseas.
  • Touring productions of Alan Bennett's The Habit of Art and Hamlet starring Rory Kinnear played to a total audience of 81,000 in 11 cities around the UK.

  • During a lunch session at the NT to launch the report, questions from the gathered journalists centred largely on the continuing commercial impact of War Horse and recent hit One Man, Two Guvnors.

    Executive director Nick Starr revealed that revenues from War Horse, which is currently running in the West End and on Broadway and is being made into a film by Steven Spielberg, had made the large-scale staging of productions such as The Kitchen and Emperor and Galilean possible. One Man, Two Guvnors meanwhile has already taken nearly £2million in advance box office at the Adelphi Theatre.

    Hytner then revealed that One Man, which he directed, is "very likely" to transfer to Broadway in April, and that a new cast is currently being sought to take the Richard Bean comedy to another West End venue following its limited run at the Adelphi.

    In response to a question from Whatsonstage.com regarding the distribution of profits from these productions, Hytner revealed he voluntarily takes no money from any West End or Broadway transfer of his own National Theatre productions. He said this meant he could avoid accusations of a "conflict of interest" in his programming, and also means the funds get fed back to the theatre he has run since 2003.

    Whatsonstage.com was live tweeting the event at @Whatsonstage using the event's #NTReport hashtag - all coverage shown below.


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