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Books in brief: Balancing Acts by Nicholas Hytner

Hytner presided over one of the most successful periods in the National Theatre’s history; this book is a satisfying explanation of how he did it

By Sarah Crompton   June 2017

Balancing Acts: Behind the Scenes at the National Theatre by Nicholas Hytner (Jonathan Cape, £20)

Nicholas Hytner’s compelling memoir of his 12 years in charge of the National Theatre from 2003 to 2015 describes the great theatrical conundrums: the way you start with a vision and end up with a compromise; how you want to make art but know you’re in showbusiness; how you want to take risks but have got one eye on the box office.

Such were Hytner’s “balancing acts.” Yet the book’s title could also be applied to the author’s…

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