National Theatre’s Big Leap: Major Upgrades and New Skills Centre with a £26.4M Boost from the Government

London’s National Theatre is on the brink of some pretty major upgrades and are kicking off an awesome initiative to help budding artists get their foot in the door. And guess what? The UK government is throwing in a hefty £26.4 million to make it all happen.

So, what’s on the agenda? First up, the National Theatre’s iconic Thameside building is getting some much-needed TLC. We’re talking urgent fixes and upgrades that haven’t been touched in the theatre’s 60-year run. This includes swapping out some ancient theatre tech that’s on its last legs, fixing up the Olivier theatre’s scenery lift, and giving a new lease of life to the unique drum revolve system underneath the Olivier stage. Pretty cool, right?

But wait, there’s more! Alongside fixing up the place, the National Theatre is launching a “Skills Centre.” This is a big deal for anyone dreaming of a career in theatre. The centre aims to train and support the next wave of artists by offering more educational placements and doubling the apprenticeships available. It’s all about passing on the knowledge and keeping the theatre scene vibrant and innovative.

This news dropped just as the UK Theatre Tax Relief got a permanent freeze, but it’s not all doom and gloom. The folks running the National Theatre, Rufus Norris and Kate Varah, are over the moon about the government’s investment. They see it as a massive boost for British theatre, helping to keep the creative juices flowing and ensuring the theatre remains a global powerhouse for arts and culture.

Even Cate Blanchett and James Graham are getting in on the action, singing the praises of the National Theatre. Blanchett highlighted the theatre’s unique role in producing bold and socially relevant work, while Graham shared a personal shoutout, crediting the National Theatre for giving him a leg up in his career.

All in all, it’s a big win for the theatre world. With the government’s backing, the National Theatre isn’t just getting a facelift; it’s setting the stage (pun intended) for future generations of theatre-makers. Here’s to keeping the arts alive and kicking!

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