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Rufus Norris fears ‘serious’ financial impact on National following Brexit vote

Rufus Norris outside the National Theatre. Photo: National Theatre Rufus Norris outside the National Theatre. Photo: National Theatre
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Rufus Norris has claimed the UK’s vote to leave the European Union may have a “serious” financial impact on the National Theatre.

The director said the referendum outcome was his “lowest moment” in charge of the NT, but pledged it would not stop him striving for more international collaborations.

Discussing his first 14 months at the helm of the theatre on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Norris said there were “a few moments where I’ve thought: ‘I can’t do it, I’m just not very good’”.

He continued: “But certainly the lowest moment was the Brexit vote. Because it really exposed how much work there is to do to make this country joined up.”

Echoing his previous call for theatre and the arts to help bring people together and better understand each other, Norris went on to say that leaving the EU may well impact the NT as well as the country at large.

“The fact is it could have serious financial repercussions for us,” he said, though he did not elaborate how.

In the wake of the referendum, Norris said the theatre had a lot of work to do to “find out why organisations like the NT are entirely disregarded by half the population, or seen as irrelevant”.

He added: “In terms of our relationship with our international partners, the NT is an international brand and we are only going to increase that work.”

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