Nicholas Hytner’s report card

Thursday 3 May 2007

Dennis the Menace and Nick HytnerFollowing the recent baying for the blood of Nicholas Hytner, artistic director of the National Theatre, the West End Whingers decided to get a more official verdict by raiding the records department of the National Theatre and pilfering a copy of his end-of-term report.

This is what they found:

Attendance: Although Nicholas has been very industrious this term, directing about 8 zillion plays, we are concerned that Nicholas’s attendance record may slip once he plays truant directing a five act opera at the Royal Opera House. A+

Botany: Judging by The Rose Tattoo, Nicholas needs to widen his interest a bit. There were far, far too many roses cluttering up this production. D-

Punctuality: Nicholas’s ongoing failure to estimate the running times of shows lead us to conclude that Nicholas has only the sketchiest notion of time management. E

Domestic Science: Under Nicholas’ stewardship the theatre has continued to produce first rate wigs. A+

Woodwork: Nicholas’s sets certainly revolve a great deal, but he appears very reluctant to use the up-and-down functionality afforded by the Olivier’s mechanics. Could do better. C+

Art: Nicholas’s posters have improved a lot. They used to just have words on them but now they have pictures too. B-

Astronomy: Poor. On the whole Nicholas has failed to to grasp the importance of stars. It’s not like the old days at the National. D

Geography: We were sceptical about Nicholas’s decision to lead everyone to the East End of London but Faust turned out to be rather good. B+

Music & Movement: Far too much of both on the whole. The music in The Rose Tattoo was shockingly bad and the dancing in The Man of Mode just plain embarrassing. D-

Media Studies: Nicholas has shown great interest in various aspects of the media, The Reporter being a case in point. However, he needs to move on from his preoccupation with video now. Waves and Attempts on Her Life were all very well but that’s video done now. Move on, Nicholas. C

Under Studies: We don’t want to dwell on the distant past too much, but when Jim Broadbent was indisposed during the previews for Theatre of Blood the National’s phone lines were inundated with calls – all from some whinger called Phil demanding his money back. He was not satisfied by our assertion that “the National doesn’t operate a star system” and therefore does not give refunds in the event of an understudy playing a lead role. See also “Astronomy”. D-

Chemistry: Absent from rather too many productions, we feel. C

History: Boys. B+

3 Responses to “Nicholas Hytner’s report card”


  1. That picture is creepy in the extreme. Ew, *shudder*

  2. M/N Says:

    Fantastic!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s