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Norris to Head U.K.’s National Theatre, Replacing Hytner

Rufus Norris
Rufus Norris has been named as director of the U.K. National Theatre. He is pictured attending the premiere of "Broken" during the 56th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon West End on October 14, 2012 in London, England. Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI

Rufus Norris will be the director of the U.K.’s National Theatre from April 2015, the theater said at a news conference this morning.

Norris, 47, will replace Nicholas Hytner, 57, who announced earlier this year that he’s leaving in March 2015, when “it will be time to give someone else a turn.” He has been running the institution for the last decade.

Hytner had set out to bring the best artists and works to the theater, Norris said. “I'd like to cast the net wider, in different ways,” he said. “Hopefully I'll bring fresh energy to it and build on the success that this institution is.”

Norris grew up in Africa and Malaysia, and has been an associate director at the National Theatre since 2011.

He directed “London Road” at the theater in 2011-12, and “Table” at the NT's temporary Shed space this year.

Norris said he aimed to attract more young audiences to the theater, as well as make sure it was gender-balanced and culturally diverse. He described himself as “very collaborative” and said, “I don't care where the best ideas come from as long as they keep coming.”

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