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Nicholas Hytner to pen ‘hilarious and incredible’ memoir about his NT years

Nicholas Hytner. Photo: Johan Persson Nicholas Hytner. Photo: Johan Persson
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Nicholas Hytner will release a book next year about his experiences in charge of the National Theatre.

Balancing Acts, to be published in May 2017, promises to tell the story of Hytner’s time as director of the venue from his appointment in 2003 to his departure in 2015.

Publisher Jonathan Cape claimed the book would include “hilarious and incredible” stories about actors, directors and playwrights who worked with Hytner at the National, including Maggie Smith, Arthur Miller, Helen Mirren, John Gielgud and Michael Gambon.

A statement from the publisher read: “With candour, intelligence, humour and insight born from experience of extraordinary successes and lunatic failures, Hytner explores the biggest questions facing the creative industries right now… This is a book not just for theatre lovers, but for anybody interested in the future of our cultural landscape, and the role art plays in society today.”

The book will be published months before the opening of Hytner’s new theatre near Tower Bridge in London, which he will run alongside former NT executive director Nick Starr.

Michal Shavit, publishing director at Jonathan Cape, said Hytner helped “transform our cultural landscape” in his 12 years at the National.

She went on: “This is a book for anyone interested in art as entertainment, in how we balance artistic integrity with commercial necessity, and in the often hilarious and incredible stories of the plays, actors and directors that have lit up our lives in the 21st century.”

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