New National Theatre artistic director must “redefine” venue’s function – Richard Eyre

Richard Eyre. Photo: Richard Hubert-Smith
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Former National Theatre artistic director Richard Eyre has claimed whoever replaces Nicholas Hytner in the post will need to “redefine the function” of the venue or risk being regarded as “Hytner-lite”.

Speaking today at the launch for Stephen Ward, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical which he is directing, Eyre described the role of artistic director at the venue as “the best job in the world”.

He added: “Following Nick Hytner is a very tough act and whoever does it will have to redefine the function and practice of the National Theatre or suffer from being regarded as Hytner-lite. I think someone will be appointed who is of a different background, a different sensibility and who will bring a different constituency to work at the National and hope to retain the affection and loyalty of the audience”.

Eyre also said he hoped the role could be taken by a woman.

Hytner will leave the venue in 2015.