The deputy artistic director of the National Theatre (NT) has said they have a ‘responsibility’ to be diverse, after launching their new season earlier this month.
It includes a gender fluid approach to Shakespeare, a colour blind performance of Amadeus, and the commission of four new works from female writers, including Bryony Kimmings.
Speaking to A Younger Theatre, Ben Power said: “All theatres, but most especially the National Theatre, needs to reach out to all parts of the country and to all audiences.
“We believe that theatre is for everyone and that means finding and putting on our stages as many different stories as possible.
“We believe that if we want to widen and diversify the kinds of people who come to the theatre, then that process beings by widening and diversifying the people on our stages and the people making work for our stages.
“Because the NT has a responsibility to present a broad programme, then promoting diversity in all it’s forms is an essential priority as we plan.
“We’re really proud that there are some very visible examples of diversity in this coming year of work, but we want it to inform every aspect of what we do as an organisation.”
Tamsin Greg will play Malvolia in Twelfth Night, a re-imagining of the classically male role Malvolio.
As well as that, a new Peter Pan performance will see Captain Hook be played by a woman.
Power continued: “I think that as a culture we have woken up for the need to put diversity at the forefront of our thinking.
“Our experience at the NT is that embracing diversity leads to better work and bigger audiences and I believe that theatres all over the UK will increasingly recognise that it can make us stronger and more secure as an industry.”
The National have also set a target to reach a 50/50 gender balance of writers and directors by 2020.
Earlier this yeah they were one of a number of theatres that have suspended all Sunday performances due to a 30% loss of government funding.
The National Theatre have announced their new, diverse season. For more information, click here.