‘It’s the creative team’s role to bring a play to fresh life’: 10 questions for 10 years – Rufus Norris

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Rather tickled that no less than the artistic director of the National Theatre Rufus Norris himself takes time out of his hectic schedule to answer Ten (9) Questions for Ten Years

Where were you 10 years ago?
I’d just directed Death and the King’s Horseman by Wole Soyinka in the Olivier Theatre

Best show you’ve seen in the last 10 years?
An impossible question to answer but if I had to pick one it would be Pericles (Public Acts) in the Olivier last year.

What has been your professional highlight of the last 10 years?
Becoming director of the National Theatre and London Road.

Top flavour of interval ice-cream?
Salted caramel.

What show do you wish theatres would give a rest for a few years?
Many plays have the potential to be boring or resonant so it’s the creative team’s role to bring a play to fresh life.

Name someone who you think is a really under-appreciated talent (in the world of theatre)?
There are so many unsung heroes working within theatre, from the technical teams behind-the-scenes making magic happen on stage, to those ensuring the smooth running of a building, I’m always amazed by their commitment. A few people who come to mind are Erin Lee in Archive, Nicky Holderness in Props and the set builder Simon.

What is one thing that you think would help theatre survive and/or thrive the next ten years?
An education system that recognises the huge benefit that only the arts can deliver, and a shift in philosophy that correctly views subsidy as investment for the good of this country.

Which is your favourite theatre?
The National Theatre, of course. I also love the Royal Exchange in Manchester.

Can you say anything about what’s to come for you, (in the next ten years or otherwise)?

Loads of plays including our next Public Acts show As You Like It with a cast of 100 community members at the Queens Theatre in Hornchurch. Hopefully a little time spent in nature in between.

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Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."
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Ian Foster on FacebookIan Foster on RssIan Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."

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