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Publisher's Summary

Featuring a selection of play excerpts performed by Nicholas Hytner's handpicked cast including Simon Russell Beale, Samuel Barnett and Deborah Findley!

You start with a vision, and you deliver a compromise. You want a play to be challenging, ambitious, nuanced and complicated. You also want it to sell tickets. You want to make art, and you know you're in show business. These are some of the balancing acts that the National Theatre and this book are about.

This is the inside story of 12 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. It is about probing Shakespeare from every angle and reinventing the classics. About fostering new talent and directing some of the most celebrated actors of our times.

Its cast includes the likes of Alan Bennett, Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren. Intimate, candid and insightful, Balancing Acts is a passionate exploration of the art and alchemy of making theatre.

©2017 Nicholas Hytner (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-22-18

Not the best quality, sold by performances and insight

The transitions between acting performance and narration is a bit clunky, but hearing Simon Russell Beale, Samuel Barnett and Deborah Findlay adds a lot to the listening experience (though Findlay doesn’t get anywhere near as much of an opportunity to be heard - reinforcing the issues with representation discussed in the book). There’s loads to get out of this, it’s great to hear about the struggle behind the hits - The History Boys and War Horse. I personally loved revisiting Much Ado About Nothing, the first show I saw at The National and maybe the first Shakespeare I ever saw on stage.