Hytner makes the case against funding cuts at Evening Standard theatre awards
Monday 26 November 2012
The director of the National Theatre, Nicholas Hytner, led a rally to protect public funding of the arts following a double win at the 58th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
Hytner made a passionate plea for the Government to consider the economic and cultural riches that theatre offers when accepting the Lebedev Special award for his dynamic directorship of the South Bank powerhouse.
Before a star-studded audience that included Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Tinie Tempah, Gemma Arterton, Ruth Wilson, Cara Delevingne, Adrian Lester and Colin Firth, he said: "I have been lucky in that for the length of my directorship of the National, it has been by and large properly funded. I know that a lot of other London theatres don't have it so good and theatres outside London have it even worse.
"Now we are being told to expect less funding and this is completely nuts. It makes no economic sense whatsoever. You only have to look at the South Bank and remember what it was like 20 or 30 years ago. These days there is such a creative buzz. Look at the businesses that have sprung up in the neighbouring areas; look at the money pouring in."
Judi Dench, who was honoured with the Moscow Art Theatre's Golden Seagull award for her contribution to world theatre, and Danny Boyle, who picked up the Beyond Theatre award for the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, both also spoke of the need for greater funding for the arts.
Nick Payne, just 29, became the youngest person to win the Best Play award for his witty drama Constellations. Simon Russell Beale was named best actor for his portrayal of Stalin in Collaborators, the blackly comic drama at the National's Cottesloe.
Damian Lewis presented Hattie Morahan with the Natasha Richardson award for best actress for her interpretation of trapped housewife Nora in A Doll's House at the Young Vic. The event, sponsored by Burberry and which took place at the Savoy Hotel, was presented by the actor James Corden and co-hosted by London Evening Standard chairman and owner Evgeny Lebedev, Burberry chief creative officer Christopher Bailey and American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
tv Jenny Lee may have left, but Miranda Hart and the rest of the midwives deliver the goods
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader