Just me talking about costume-y kind of stuff
The National Theatre company began in The Old Vic theatre under the direction of Laurence Olivier. The building was finally finished in 1976, under the direction of Peter Hall. The modern concrete design was the brainchild of Denys Lasdun and has been much complained about ever since. The idea behind the design was that it was supposed to be The People's Theatre: no private boxes, no gilt cherubs, no class distinctions. If the Queen comes to the theatre, she sits in a regular seat just like everyone else. The building has three spaces and always has six shows running in repertory. Each show runs one week and then changes for the second show. The three spaces are the Olivier, the Lyttleton, and the Dorfman stages. The Olivier is the largest space. It's built like a drum in that the stage is set on a corkscrew and rotates up and down the height of the building so that sets can be built in the scene shop and then lifted into place as if they were on an elevator. The Lyttleton is a medium sized space shaped like an L. The running show's set is on the bottom of the L, and the off show's set is stored on the side of the L. The Dorfman is the smallest space. Here's a video of the drum revolve in action.
The BAckstage Tour
No photos were allowed inside the backstage area with the exception of a special "hands-on" props area. So I've found a video so that you can see what we saw. We were taken backstage to Drum Road, where a very large hallway connects all of the shops to the performance spaces. We weren't allowed in the costume shop because they were in technical rehearsals for their upcoming production of Translation by Brian Friel, and they were doing fittings. They do a special tour of the costume shop on select Saturdays, when no one is in there, but we weren't going to be there for the next one. They do show the costume shop on the video, however.
We did get to see a little bit of the technical rehearsals for Translations, but alas, no tickets (that we could afford) were available to see the show that week. The set looked amazing. They had covered the stage floor with moss. I've included the video trailer for Translations. It's being performed in their largest space, the Olivier Theatre and is in rep with Exit the King.
One of the more famous productions at the National Theatre was Danny Boyle's Frankenstein, in which Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller played the Doctor and the Creature for one performance and then they switched roles for the next performance! The video of this production is being show in Waco on October 22 at Cinemark movie theatre. I'm taking Rob for his birthday.