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Nicholas Hytner: ‘There will be no diversity quotas at the Bridge Theatre’

Nicholas Hytner. Photo: Helen Maybanks Nicholas Hytner. Photo: Helen Maybanks
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Nicholas Hytner has ruled out using quotas to achieve diversity or gender balance at the Bridge Theatre, claiming he is “not going to get involved in any maths”.

The former National Theatre director opened the new Bridge Theatre with Nick Starr last year, and said he wanted to stage work by “as diverse an array of voices as possible” but would not implement specific targets.

In an interview with the Telegraph, he said: “There will be no quotas of any kind. There’s no audit, there’s no one out front ever saying: ‘Where do you come from?’ We’re not in that game.

Hytner addressed criticism he has received over the dominance of male writers at the Bridge so far, saying: “The work we do will tend towards being fair and diverse, but I’m not going to get involved in any maths.

“If a brilliant play arrived that was 100% male, sure as hell I’d do it. But would we want to do only plays about men? That would be stupid – because it would be out of touch, boring and uncommercial.”

So far, the London theatre has produced Richard Bean and Clive Coleman’s new play Young Marx and Julius Caesar. Its next shows include Nightfall by Barney Norris, an adaptation of My Name is Lucy Barton by Rona Munro, Alan Bennett’s Allelujah!, A Very Very Very Dark Matter by Martin McDonagh and Alys, Always by Lucinda Coxon.

Alan Bennett world premiere to be staged at Hytner and Starr’s Bridge Theatre

Hytner also commented on the theatre’s commitment to staging new work.

He said: “We’re going to be doing mainly new plays, but that has nothing to do with virtue. I can’t stand ‘new writing’, as if it has some special status. We don’t want to virtue signal – we are in showbusiness.”

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