On Saturday 16 June, there will be a special event at the National Theatre, as part of the London Festival of Architecture. The event traces the development of the NT, from the first years at the Old Vic Theatre through to the purpose-built theatre on the South Bank, including the most recent re-invigorating of the spaces as part of the ‘NT Future’ project.
The event begins with a screening of BBC TV’s 1976 film Goodbye to Building, which looks back to the National’s original home and forward to the opening that year of Denys Lasdun’s riverside Theatre. The event also includes a handling session with items from the National Theatre’s Archive, followed by a backstage tour which will look at how the NT’s identity has evolved from the first proposals to the building you see today.
Goodbye to Building was screened in March 1976 as part the Arena documentary series. It is presented by Kenneth Tynan who was the Literary Manager of the National Theatre under Laurence Olivier, it is a leaving-taking for the company and staff of the Old Vic (celebrating its own 200th anniversary this year) described by the Radio Times at the time as ‘the most famous theatre in the world’.
The National Theatre on the South Bank is Grade II* listed as ‘a major public building of the post-war period by one of its leading architects, and reflects new ideas in theatre design’ (Historic England). With three theatres under one roof along with rehearsal and workshop areas the theatre-making spaces were expanded and refurbished in 2015 by architects Howarth Tompkins.
The London Festival of Architecture celebrates London as a global hub of architectural experimentation, practice and debate. The festival returns to the capital from 1-30 June 2018 with a lively and diverse programme of public events across London exploring the theme ‘identity’.
There will be two screenings on Saturday 16th June, at 11am and 3pm both followed by tours.
Tickets are £15 and include admission to the screening, a backstage tour and archive handling session
For further information Tours(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)nationaltheatre.org.uk
Also in June at the National Theatre
Throughout the month there will be access to the exhibition Concrete Reality – Denys Lasdun and the National Theatre. The exhibition is free and situated in the Olivier Circle gallery. Open 9.30am – 10.45pm (12 – 6pm Sundays)
There will be 90mins Architecture Tours running through the month – check website for dates and times and to book.