ANNEXE:Drama at the National

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The Independent Culture
Sir Denys Lasdun and his supporters - Lord Annan, Lord Palumbo, Michael Frayn the playwright, and Lord Briggs the historian - have persuaded John Gummer, Secretary of State for the Environment, to hold a public inquiry into the National Theatre's plans to demolish the building's lower terrace. They claim the terrace is an integral part of Sir Denys's design and to remove it would be to alter the whole architectural composition.

Mr Gummer says: "The National Theatre is one of the country's best-known buildings and any major change to the fabric of such a building should be the subject of a public inquiry." Mr Gummer has, however, approved plans to extend and alter the theatre's foyer. The building was listed Grade II* last year.