Nicholas Hytner has been named the new artistic director of the Royal National Theatre in London, according to a Press Association report. He will begin a five-year term in April 2003, replacing the departing Trevor Nunn. He steps into a position occupied by the likes of Laurence Olivier, Peter Hall and Richard Eyre.
"I'm thrilled by the challenge of leading the National and of working with a company of outstandingly creative people whom I've loved and admired for many years," said Hytner. "I'm honored to be inheriting it from a great director and hugely encouraged by his support and the enthusiasm of the National Theatre Board.
The English theatre world has speculated for months as to who would follow Nunn. The other main contenders for the job were Jude Kelly; the Almeida double-act of Jonathan Kent and Ian McDiarmid; Swiss director Luc Bondy; and the actor Simon Russell Beale, currently appearing at the National opposite Dame Diana Rigg in Charlotte Jones' play Humble Boy.