Monday, March 8, 2021
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Rufus Norris on the National Theatre’s new films, saving panto and the UK arts crisis

The NT’s artistic director says a forthcoming Romeo and Juliet film will be unlike any other production – and reveals his plan B for a lockdown Dick Whittington

The National Theatre reopened then closed again this week for lockdown. It must have been good to have audiences back, albeit briefly, for Death of England: Delroy?
It’s been another drop down on the rollercoaster of this whole period. I gave a little speech at the beginning of the show about how it’s fantastic to feel audiences’ hunger for gathering together to hear a story. It’s been very uplifting. This has been a difficult, painful period and the best balm for all the anxiety is to get up and do what we’re here to do. And we’ve got that show now – it will have a life at some stage.

You even managed to film the production during its short run.
The popularity of NT at Home affirmed the importance of that. We had planned on filming it later but when we got the lockdown news on Saturday, within half an hour we got on Zoom and said let’s bring forward the filming. Now we’re talking about the most effective way to get it out to as wide an audience as we can.

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