Balancing Acts: Behind the Scenes at the National Theatre (Paperback)
  • Balancing Acts: Behind the Scenes at the National Theatre (Paperback)
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Balancing Acts: Behind the Scenes at the National Theatre (Paperback)

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£9.99 £8.49
Paperback 320 Pages / Published: 26/04/2018
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This is the inside story of twelve years at the helm of Britain's greatest theatre.

It is a story of lunatic failures and spectacular successes such as The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors; of opening the doors of the National Theatre to a broader audience than ever before, and changing the public's perception of what theatre is for.

It is about probing Shakespeare from every angle and reinventing the classics. About fostering new talent and directing some of the most celebrated actors of our times.

Its cast includes the likes of Alan Bennett, Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren.

Intimate, candid and insightful, Balancing Acts is a passionate exploration of the art and alchemy of making theatre.

'Speaking for myself I've never had so much fun as working with Nicholas Hytner. This lovely book explains why.' - Alan Bennett

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781784704148
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 223 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'...a must-read for anyone interested in theatre.' -  The Observer

'A tremendous book about life in the theatre - and theatre, and life. Honest, shrewd and heartfelt. A classic of its kind.' - William Boyd

'Witty, waspish, and extraordinarily wise, it comes as no surprise to discover that Nick Hytner is every bit as good a writer as he is a director. Part fascinating memoir, part brilliant guidebook, Balancing Acts is also a record of how one man challenged and changed the way theatre is perceived in the UK, and with a few brilliant strokes - £10 tickets, live cinema broadcasts, and a dazzlingly inventive and brilliant repertory - created the first great theatre of the twenty-first century. For his description of what went into that quiet revolution, and for many other reasons, this wonderful book is essential reading.' - Sam Mendes

'As the record of a great theatre dealing fully and richly with the past and finding new ways of holding a glass up to the present, it's incomparably interesting... This book is immensely readable, full of vivid anecdotes, and rich with an intimate understanding of drama both classic and modern. I loved it, and I'm sure it will do very well.' - Philip Pullman

'Nicholas Hytner gives a riveting account of his time at the National Theatre. "Nothing makes me happier" he writes "than to throw a party and sit on the edge of it." It was a party, often a triumphant one, but he was at the heart of it. As was someone else: Shakespeare, about whom he writes superbly. Speaking for myself I've never had so much fun as working with Nicholas Hytner. This lovely book explains why.' - Alan Bennett

'Witty and entertaining, [Hytner] has an ability to be serious without being portentous, and he's able to tell a good story ... Balancing Acts is both history and illumination ... You don't have to be interested in theatre or even in culture to enjoy this book ... But if you do happen to be interested in one of the few organisations in Britain that actually achieves what it's supposed to ... then you'll be delighted. What's more, in the account of Hytner's directing at least six Shakespeare plays ... you'll find yourself given a masterclass.' - Richard Eyre, Evening Standard

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Reviews

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“Nicholas Hytner - Balancing Acts”

Very interesting overview of his time at the NT. I very much enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to anyone interested in theatre, had been to the NT and knows something about the plays, performances and actors... More

Hardback edition
21st November 2017
Helpful? Upvote 11

“A “must read” for anyone interested in the theatre”

Nicholas Hytner has filled this book with a treasure trove of anecdotes, may of them very funny, and information about his time as Director of the National Theatre. I dragged out the last few chapters as I didn’t want... More

Hardback edition
14th May 2018
Helpful? Upvote 3

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