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Lyttelton - National Theatre

South Bank, London, SE1 9PX GB

Now showing at the Lyttelton - National Theatre

Rutherford & Son

Lyttelton - National Theatre

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A piercing look at power and family.

Roger Allam (Les Misérables, The Thick of It) returns to the National for the first time in a decade to play Rutherford in this new production directed by Polly Findlay (Beginning).   In a Northern industrial town, John Rutherford rules both factory and family with an iron will. But even as the furnaces burn relentlessly at the Glassworks, at home his children begin to turn against him.   Githa Sowerby’s astonishing play was inspired by her own experience of growing up in a family-run factory in Gateshead. Writing in 1912, when female voices were seldom heard on British stages, she now claims her place alongside Ibsen and Bernard Shaw with this searing depiction of class, gender and generational warfare.
  • Booking until: Wednesday, 31 July 2019
  • Running time: 2 hours 35 minutes (One interval)
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Lyttelton - National Theatre Facilities

  • Air conditioned
  • Bar
  • Disabled toilets
  • Infrared hearing loop
  • Restaurant
  • Toilets
  • Wheelchair/scooter access

Lyttelton - National Theatre Location

Travel Information

Nearest Tube station
  • Temple
  • Waterloo
Nearest Rail Station
  • Waterloo
Tube lines
  • Circle
  • District
  • Bakerloo
  • Jubilee
  • Northern
  • Waterloo & City
Day buses
  • (Waterloo Road) 1, 4, 26, 59, 68, 76, 139, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 243, 341, 521, RV1, X68
Night buses
  • (Waterloo Road) 139, 176, 188, 243, 341, N1, N68, N76, N171, N343
Lyttelton - National Theatre history

From the outside

The Lyttleton Theatre is part of the massive National Theatre complex, a modern series of 1970s concrete blocks on the South Bank of the Thames just a stone’s throw from Covent Garden. Inside it’s a masterpiece of acoustic excellence with no pillars or posts to impede the audience’s view of the stage.

Lyttleton Theatre architecture and history

The Lyttelton Theatre part of the National Theatre complex, which is made up of three theatres: the enormous Olivier Theatre with its open stage, the Lyttelton Theatre plus the small and intimate Cottesloe Theatre. In total they seat more than two and a half thousand people.

The Lyttleton is named after Oliver Lyttelton, also known as Viscount Chandos, whose parents were among the original group who campaigned for a National Theatre. He was also the National’s first chairman.

The Lyttleton is well known for its carefully created shape, which delivers superb acoustics and a really good view of the stage for everyone, unlike many older theatres. There are pillars or rails to interrupt the view and the acoustics are equally good across every seat.

The National's first performance, in 1963, starred Peter O'Toole as Hamlet and was directed by Sir Laurence Olivier. The company’s first thirteen years were spent at the Old Vic Theatre and they didn’t move into their current South Bank home, which was opened by Queen Elizabeth, until 1976.

The National has hosted more than 500 plays since then and it’s one of those rare venues where you can catch several different productions a week.

Richard Eyre replaced Peter Hall as Director between ‘88 and ’97 at which point Trevor Nunn took over until 2003. The current Director of the company is Nicholas Hytner.

The National's building has recently been refurbished, with the help of money from the National Lottery fund.

Past shows at Lyttleton Theatre

Previous shows at the Lyttleton Theatre include Richard Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors, The factual show Greenland, Clifford Odets’ 1983 Rocket to the Moon and Alan Ayckbourn's famous Season's Greetings, an entertaining look at a typical family Christmas. Men Should Weep, set in 1930s Glagow, appeared there as did Blood and Gifts, a tense political thriller from the author of The Overwhelming, which also played at the National in 2006. Numerous other hit shows have played at the Lyttleton Theatre including The Habit of Art, The White Guard, The Power of Yes, Burnt by the Sun and the highly acclaimed The Pitmen Painters.

Lyttleton Theatre access

The Lyttleton, like the rest of the National, is dedicated to access for everyone. They provide audio-described performances and captioned performances and aims to be accessible and welcoming to all.

Lyttleton Theatre tickets

We’re your top destination for a wide variety of seat types and prices, with excellent availability on the full range of Lyttleton Theatre tickets.