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The Royal National Theatre in London, commonly known as the National Theatre (NT), is one of the United Kingdom's three most prominent publicly funded performing arts venues, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera House. Internationally, it is known as the National Theatre of Great Britain.
From its foundation in 1963 until 1976, the company was based at The Old Vic theatre in Waterloo. The current building is located next to the Thames in the South Bank area of central London. In addition to performances at the National Theatre building, the National Theatre tours productions at theatres across the United Kingdom.
Permission to add the "Royal" prefix to the name of the theatre was given in 1988, but the full title is rarely used. The theatre presents a varied programme, including Shakespeare, other international classic drama, and new plays by contemporary playwrights. Each auditorium in the theatre can run up to three shows in repertoire, thus further widening the number of plays which can be put on during any one season.
In June 2009, the theatre began National Theatre Live (NT Live), a programme of simulcasts of live productions to cinemas, first in the United Kingdom and then internationally. The programme began with a production of Phèdre, starring Helen Mirren, which was screened live in 70 cinemas across the UK. NT Live productions have since been broadcast to over 2,500 venues in 60 countries around the world.
The NT had an annual turnover of approximately £105 million in 2015–16, of which earned income made up 75% (58% from ticket sales, 5% from NT Live and Digital, and 12% from commercial revenue such as in the restaurants, bookshops, etc.). Support from Arts Council England provided 17% of income, 1% from Learning and Participation activity, and the remaining 9% came from a mixture of companies, individuals, trusts and foundations.
National Theatre Tours Reviews
Last minute decision to take backstage tour after matinee was excellent. Being the only one who signed up, I did receive private tour with Jess. She turned out to be super adaptive and enthusiastic... more »
Sarah was passionate and enthusiastic about the theatre. She answered all questions in great detail and kept us entertained throughout. Great knowledge and spirit. more »
National theatre is always a joy to visit. Plentiful seating is you want to read, study or work. Lovely bookstore. Restaurants/cafes. And beautifully designed theatres which almost guarantee a good view of the stage no matter what seats you're in. Very comfortable and roomy compared to other London theatres. Can't beat them.
One of the cultural highlights of London, known for performing some great important plays old and new. The sets, lighting, atmosphere of any play you choose to see will be amazing. Tickets priced for everyone. The building has wonderful views of the City too.
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