Nicholas Hytner is a film director, film producer and theatre director, who was born in Manchester in 1956. In an interview with Andrew Dickens for The Guardian Hytner has described his childhood as having been brought up in “a typical Jewish, cultured family”.
He studied English at Trinity College in Cambridge and first worked as an assistant to Colin Graham at the English National Opera. He began his work for the theatre by directing an adaptation of Tom Jones and a musical version of Alice in Wonderland. In 1985, he worked as an associate director at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. In 1989, he directed the hugely successful play Miss Saigon (1989). Following this success, he worked as an associate director for the National Theatre. In 2003, Hytner followed Trevor Nunn to become the artistic director of the National Theatre. During his time at the National Theatre, Hytner not only directed a number of highly successful plays such as The History Boys (2004) or One Man, Two Guvnors (2011), he also ensured the development of the theatre through the growth of modern technologies and social change. He innovated Sunday openings as well as a season of reduced price tickets. In 2013, Hytner announced that he would resign as director of the National Theatre by the end of March 2015.
Hytner has received numerous accolades and awards. He is on the Board of Trustees of the Royal Opera House and was appointed an honorary fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge University in 2005. Hytner received a knighthood in 2010 for his contributions to drama.
Andrew Dickson, “A life in theatre: Nicholas Hytner”, The Guardian, 16 October 2010.