National Theatre

I have already mentioned in the Comments section of my blog how much I enjoyed Barnabas Calder’s admirable book Raw Concrete: The Beauties of Brutalism which has not one, but two chapters devoted to the work of Denys Lasdun, including one on the National Theatre which converted him from an interest in medieval architecture to modernism.   I thought of him as I walked past the National Theatre last night and stopped to admire its complex abstract geometry and discovered, which I had not known, that there are decks and terraces from which one can explore its different horizontal levels:-


3 thoughts on “National Theatre

  1. Yes, its geometric facades are indeed elegant and well organised — and very much of their time — although the internal spaces are rather less successful. However its a building whose reputation will come again : he’s a fine architect.

  2. Joan says:

    Well worth going on one of the backstage tours that the National offers. We were on a specialist Saturday morning costume one earlier in the year but there are also more general ones that take you around all the nooks and crannies that the public don’t generally get to see. It was particularly interesting to see how all the dressing rooms look out on to a courtyard. On opening night the actors bang on the windows of the dressing rooms and the sound travels up to the higher levels where the seamstresses, wig makers etc. do their work. At most hours of the day you can also walk off the street into the entrance for the Dorfman Theatre and wander freely around the Sherling high level walkway. From there you can see the set builders at work and play a game of spotting the props from productions you may have seen.

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