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Rufus Norris is named as the next Director of The National Theatre, replacing Nicholas Hytner who, after ten years, is to step down as Director of the National Theatre at the end of March 2015.
Rufus Norris, who is currently an Associate Director of the National Theatre, has directed the following plays at the National: The Amen Corner, Table, London Road, Death and the King's Horseman, Market Boy.
His other London credits include Festen (Almeida, West End, tour and Broadway), Blood Wedding (Almeida), Feast, Vernon God Little, Tintin, Sleeping Beauty, Peribanez, Afore Night Come (all Young Vic), Under the Blue Sky, About the Boy, Clubbed Out (all Royal Court), Dirty Butterfly (Soho Theatre).
He won the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Newcomer in 2001 for his production of Afore Night Came at the Young Vic. In 2004 he won his second Evening Standard Award and the Critics Circle Award for his production of Festen. In 2008 his Broadway production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses won five Tony Award nominations, including Best Revival. His production of London Road in 2011 at the National Theatre, won the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical.
Rufus Norris was born in 1965 and spent his childhood in Africa and Malaysia. He was educated at North Bromsgrove High School and Kidderminster College of Further Education. He trained at RADA and was an actor for several years before turning to directing. He has been an Associate Director at the National Theatre since 2011.
John Makinson, Chairman of the National Theatre, said: “In setting out to find a new Director for the National Theatre, the Board looked for an individual with a creative reputation that would command the respect and support of British theatre, and with the generosity of spirit that has characterised Nick Hytner’s period as Director. Rufus Norris has both those qualities in abundance. He is an exciting choice, someone who will build on the National Theatre’s present reputation as one of the most admired and innovative performing arts organisations in the world. We are fortunate that he has chosen to join us.
Nicholas Hytner added: “I could not be more delighted that the Board of the National Theatre has appointed Rufus Norris as the National's next Director. He has been a superb Associate Director for the last two years, actively involved in repertoire planning, and delivering a series of outstanding productions. His work as a director is always searching, deeply considered and adventurous and I have no doubt he will bring these qualities to the running of the National. His appointment will be welcomed with great excitement both within the National and in the theatre at large.”
Rufus Norris said: “This appointment is a great honour and I am thrilled at the prospect and challenge of leading this exceptional organisation, where it has been a privilege to work under the inspirational leadership of Nick Hytner. I am tremendously grateful to the Board of the National Theatre for their support. “The National is an extraordinary place, full of extraordinary people, and 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.”