Rufus Norris has signed up for a further five years as director of the National Theatre, revealing that increasing the diversity of the organisation’s audiences will be a priority over that time.
Norris took up the post of director in 2015, and described learning about the job as a “steep curve”. He said the past five years had been “tumultuous” politically, and highlighted the “sector-wide push for increasing diversity” as a welcome development.
“Our audience is much broader than it was a few years ago and seeing shows like Three Sisters pack out, or the success of Nine Night, has been terrific to witness,” he said, adding: “We intend to get more sophisticated in evolving the cross section of society we are trying to reach – particularly socio-economically – in the future.”
Norris praised the staff at the NT and described the organisation as a “great community to be a part of”.
“It’s a big organisation and there are various evolutions and changes we have been making over the past few years. Some of them, particularly with respect to the work we are doing nationwide, we have made great headway on. Lisa Burger and myself work closely together as co-chief executives, and we are very keen to keep pressing ahead, as well as doing the main task, which is to keep this place vibrant and full, and to make sure the work we make gets to as many people as possible,” he said.
In terms of productions he has been proud of, Norris cited We’re Here Because We’re Here – which marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme – as a highlight.