National Theatre Archive

Interior of National Theatre Archives
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The NT Archive is a treasure trove of material, which documents the history of the National Theatre from its founding in 1963 right up to present day.

The NT Archive is open to anyone with an interest in the National's history... theatre practitioners, academics, journalists, writers, picture editors and students from anywhere in the world.

Venue Type:

Library, Archive

Opening hours

The Archive is open to researchers 10-5 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and 12-8 on Thursdays.

Address all enquiries to the Archivist, Royal National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX, call 020 7452 3135 or email archive@nationaltheatre.org.uk.

For researchers unable to visit the Archive, there is a photocopying service for certain types of materials. Current charges are 20p per A4 sheet and 30p per A3 sheet plus postage and packing. A copyright declaration must be signed and returned, together with payment, before despatch.

Closed: Fridays, Public holidays and weekends.

Admission charges

The NT Archive is a free service offered to all interested parties.

Getting there

Please note that we are not at the main site of the National Theatre on the South Bank but are located next door to the Old Vic Theatre, less than a 5 minute walk from Waterloo Station and a 10 minute walk from the South Bank.

Additional info

The Archive is open to the public by appointment only.

The National Theatre Archive has a broader collecting policy than most theatre archives: it is our constant effort to document the history of both the administrative and creative aspects of the institution. By reference to the various series of records held at the Archive one can trace the lifecycle of any NT production from conception to design to marketing to Stage Manager’s reports. The collection covers the period from the inception of the company in 1963 to the present day. The major research series in the collection are programmes, posters, photographs, videos, sound recordings of Platform events, press cuttings, prompt scripts, production drawings, costume, lighting, and sound information. At the end of a production’s run, the Archivist arranges the transfer of material from the various creative departments in the National Theatre to the Archive.

Collection details

Archives, Costume and Textiles, Design, Film and Media, Literature, Music, Performing Arts, Personalities, Photography

Key artists and exhibits

  • Laurence Olivier
  • Kenneth Tynan
  • Max Rayne
  • Peter Hall
  • Richard Eyre
  • Trevor Nunn
  • Nicholas Hytner
  • SMNT
  • National Theatre
  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Stage
  • Costume
  • Lighting
  • Acting
  • New writing
  • Playright
  • script
  • rehearsal
  • Shakespeare
  • Lord Cottesloe
  • Mary Soames
  • Oliver Lyttelton
  • Sir Hayden Phillips
  • Sir Christopher Hogg
  • Anthony Hopkins
  • Maggie Smith
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Harley Granville Barker
  • John Dexter
  • Jonathan Miller
  • Harold Pinter
  • Edwin Lutyens
  • Peter Schaffer
  • Michael Bogdanov
  • Howard Brenton
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
5 Hamlets exhibition at the National Theatre

5 Hamlets

  • 18 April — 2 September 2016 *on now

5 Hamlets showcases the five productions of Hamlet during five of the National Theatre’s six decades. Through costume, prompt scripts, stage management reports, audio recordings, set design and music, we explore these five Hamlets and how they were staged.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17
  • Any age

Where

Lyttelton Lounge, National Theatre
Upper Ground
London
Greater London
SE1 9PX
England

Getting there

Please note that we are not at the main site of the National Theatre on the South Bank but are located next door to the Old Vic Theatre, less than a 5 minute walk from Waterloo Station and a 10 minute walk from the South Bank.

National Theatre Archive
NT Studio
83-101 The Cut
London
Greater London
SE1 8LL
England

Website

www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/archive

E-mail

archive@nationaltheatre.org.uk

Telephone

Archive

020 7452 3135

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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