Nicholas Hytner introduced by George Fenton.

Tuesday 31st October, 7.30pm, The North Wall –  please note that tickets have now sold out.


n the first of a new series of talks at The North Wall, George Fenton introduces Nicholas Hytner, Director of the National Theatre from 2003 to 2015. Nicholas will speak about his recent book, which candidly illustrates the competing forces at play in a major arts venue.

Balancing Acts is the inside story of twelve years at the helm of Britain’s greatest theatre. It is a story of lunatic failures and spectacular successes such as The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors; of opening the doors of the National Theatre to a broader audience than ever before, and changing the public’s perception of what theatre is for.

In telling his story, Nicholas reflects on his encounters with the likes of Alan Bennett, Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren.

Balancing Acts: Behind the Scenes at The National Theatre was published by Jonathan Cape in May 2017. Nicholas will be available to sign copies of his book after the talk.

George Fenton

George Fenton, a former pupil and now Governor of St Edward’s School, is a multi-award-winning composer best known for film and television scores such as Gandhi, The Blue Planet and Cry Freedom. George and Nicholas have worked together many times, including on such projects as The Madness of King George, Collaborators and The Lady in the Van.

The Inspiring People lecture series

The Inspiring People lecture series is a joint venture between The North Wall Arts Centre on South Parade in North Oxford and its principal sponsor, St Edward’s School. The title reflects the nature of our eminent speakers and also the driving force of the two organisations, each of which has a mission to educate and to inspire – within School and in the wider community.

Inspiring People from January 2018:

  • Tuesday 23rd January – Henry Marsh, Neurosurgeon and author.
  • Tuesday 20th February – Andrew Graham-Dixon, Art-historian, critic, broadcaster and author.
  • Monday 12th March – Marty Jopson, Inventor, BBC One Show reporter and author.
  • Monday 16th April – Bettany Hughes, Historian, author and broadcaster.
  • Wednesday 9th May – Jonathan Porritt, Environmentalist and author.

Bookings will open for all of these talks soon.