Sir Nicholas Hytner insists he is a theatre director who ‘does other stuff’. He does the other stuff with equal aplomb, directing some of my favourite films, THE HISTORY BOYS, THE CRUCIBLE and THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE. His film career was born out of his working relationship with playwright Alan Bennett, nurtured at the National Theatre, after Sir Nick became Artistic Director, taking over from Trevor Nunn in April 2003.
In 1989, when Cameron MacIntosh offered him MISS SAIGON. “It just felt like a huge lark… it was gigantic at the time so I threw everything I knew at it-big, honest, brash, kind of crazy. I had no idea it would take off.” It became a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic. He was on a percentage, so at the age of 34 he never had to worry about money again and “only needed to do what I wanted to do.” During his tenure the National produced some of London’s most successful productions, including WAR HORSE, ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS and THE HISTORY BOYS. He was knighted in 2010.
He left the National in 2015 along with Nick Starr, the former Executive Director. They set up London’s newest stage venue, The Bridge Theatre – a 900-seat auditorium overlooking the Thames near Tower Bridge, where I left this drawing for him to sign, which he did and returned last week.