Britain's National Theatre makes Rufus Norris new chief

LONDON- Britain's prestigious National Theatre on Tuesday named stage and film director Rufus Norris as its new chief, following in the footsteps of luminaries including Laurence Olivier.
Norris, 48, will be the first ex-actor to lead the company since the legendary Olivier became its first director in 1963.
Film and stage star Kenneth Branagh had been mentioned as another candidate for the role.

Norris will take over in 2015 from Nicholas Hytner, who has won plaudits for a string of successful shows over the last decade including "War Horse" and "One Man, Two Guvnors", both of which have since successfully transferred to Broadway.
Norris, an associate director at the National for the last two years, trained at Britain's high-profile RADA drama school and worked as an actor before turning to directing.
He has previously worked on opera "Dr Dee" with Blur singer Damon Albarn, and directed a critically-acclaimed stage version of the adventures of comic book hero Tintin.
Norris said he was "thrilled" by the prospect of leading the National, and pledged to bring "fresh energy" to its shows.
"I look forward with relish to the task ahead -- that being to fill our theatres with the most exciting, accessible and ground-breaking work our unique and broad community of artists has to offer," he said.
His debut feature film "Broken" premiered at the Cannes film festival last year and he is currently directing another movie, "London Road", but he said that after that his film work will have to stop.
"I'm going to be committed to this building," he said. "It's an enormous job."
Several other leading lights of the British artistic scene had been linked to the top post at the National, including Sam Mendes -- director of the last James Bond movie "Skyfall" -- and Danny Boyle, the film-maker who masterminded the opening ceremony for London's 2012 Olympic Games.
Housed in a distinctive 1970s concrete building on the south bank of London's River Thames, the National Theatre has produced more than 800 shows since it was founded in 1963.
It reached a worldwide audience of 3.6 million last year through its stage shows and live broadcasts in cinemas around the globe.

Wednesday, October 16th 2013

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