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|Nunn Speaks Out|
- Farewell speech from the National's artistic director
TREVOR NUNN rebuked his critics last Friday with a speech held in the National Theatre's Olivier. Preparing to leave the venue where he has worked as artistic director since November 1997, Nunn justified his reign of the flagship South Bank arts complex.
"As a working class boy, I have felt it my responsibility to serve as many audiences as possible," said Nunn. He cited the 60 new plays, 24 classics and 15 contemporary revivals that he has produced, as well as the many musicals that earned him a reputation as a populist dumber-downer and which successor Nicholas Hytner has notably avoided programming. With no mention of the 42 Olivers garnered during his reign, Nunn stressed the diversity of his repertoire.
Audiences gathered to hear Nunn's parting speech rewarded him with a standing ovation. Royalties from long running hits like Les Miserables and the touring production of Cats should keep his bank balance healthy as he enters the heady world of freelance directing. "The thing I'm proudest of all about is that I leave the National Theatre in the black - that's pretty much unique amongst funded arts organisations in this country at the moment," says Nunn.