- The National Theatre building, designed by Sir Denys Lasdun, stands next to Waterloo Bridge on the South Bank of the Thames. It houses three auditoriums: the Olivier, a large open stage with a fan-shaped auditorium, seating 1100; the Lyttelton, a proscenium stage, seating 900; and a flexible studio space seating up to 400, formerly known as the Cottesloe: closed for refurbishment for a year from February 2013, it will re-open in April 2014 as the Dorfman. A temporary venue, The Shed, has been built in front of the theatre as a third performing space for the company during the Cottesloe's closure. There are also spacious foyers and terraces overlooking the river, and a wide choice of eating places and bars. The National Theatre building is open to the public seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, from 9.30am to 11pm.
- The National Theatre houses not just three auditoriums, but also rehearsal rooms, set-building and scenic-painting workshops, costume- and prop-making and digital design. The NT is unusal in having these skills in-house; around 1000 people work on its five-acre site.
- Since its inception in 1963, the National Theatre has presented over 800 productions. Some transfer to the West End and occassionally to Broadway; we also tour the UK and internationally, and broadcast productions to cinemas around the world in the National Theatre Live programme. In 2011-12 the NT stage 23 new productions and gave 1,746 performances in London, where it employed 526 actors and musicians.
- In 2012, the National Theatre's audience reached 3.2 million worldwide, and in London represented 35% of total play-going. Attendance averaged 92% on the South Bank (33% of whom were first-time bookers) and 99% for War Horse at the New London Theatre.
- In 2011-12, the NT generated a record income of £80million. 56% represented box office receipts at the National Theatre, on tour, in the West End and internationally; Arts Council funding represented 23% (£18.3million).
- The Travelex Tickets Season was launched in 2003. Sponsored by the foreign exchange specialist, Travelex, and covering several production in the Olivier and/or Lyttelton Theatres over the summer months, the season offers hundreds of tickets for every performance at £12 (for eight years from 2003-2010, tickets were priced at £10).
- Entry Pass is a free scheme providing discounted tickets for 16-25-year-olds for every performance.
- The National has been awarded over 450 major drama awards since its move to the South Bank in 1976.
- The National produces wide-ranging digital resources about theatre, including online videos, podcasts and audio recordings, available on the NT website and other platforms such as iTunes U and You Tube.
- In 2011-12, 4,000 young people from 300 schools and youth theatres participated in NT Learning's nationwide youth programme, Connections. The Watch This Space festival was attended by 37,000 people; 28,000 attended Platforms; there were 12 free exhibitions and 331 free concerts, and 28,000 took backstage tours.
- NT Future is an £80million redevelopment programme which will transform the facilities the National offers audiences and artists, enhance our relationship with the environment around us and place education firmly at the heart of our mission. Since the National opened its doors on the South Bank in 1976, there have been significant changes to the way we make, experience and learn through theatre. NT Future responds to these changes by opening up our building, allowing audiences closer engagement with the theatre, both on stage and behind the scenes. The project, designed by architects Haworth Tompkins, is scheduled for completion at the end of 2014; the National Theatre will remain open throughout the redevelopment.
- The National Theatre is a registered charity number 224223
For further information about the National Theatre:
London SE1 9PX
Tel +44 (0)20 7452 3236
National Theatre Archive
83-101 The Cut
Tel +44 (0)20 7452 3135
London SE1 9PX
Tel +44 (0)20 7452 3400
London SE1 9PX
Tel +44 (0)20 7452 3000
Fax +44 (0)20 7452 3030
Booking a Backstage Tour
+44 (0)20 7452 3400