video record
Media not available in the Digital Archive
The programme examines The National Theatre as a complex system, considering its relationship with Government, the Arts Council and the public.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: T243, Systems organisation: the management of complexity
Item code: T243; 01
First transmission date: 27-02-1980
Published: 1980
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:23:47
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Producer: Richard Callanan
Contributors: Ronald John Beishon; Michael Billington; Warren Mitchell; Mikha'el Rodman
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Drama; Management; Organisations; Systems; Theatre
Footage description: The programme opens with Michael Billington, Drama Critic of the Guardian, in interview, outside the National Theatre. He explains why so much is expected of the National Theatre. Over exterior views of the National Theatre the OU's John Beishen explains that it can be viewed as a complex system. He interviews Michael Rudman, the Director of the Lyttleton Theatre, who is directing Death of a Salesman at the Nataional Theatre. Rudman explains why he has a high regard for the National Theatre. With him is Warren Mitchell, who briefly comments on the theatre. Interview with Peter Hall, Director of the National Theatre, who gives his views on the purpose of plays and the theatre generally. In interview Mitchell comments on standards in the theatre. An excerpt from the rehearsals of Death of a Salesman is seen. Over various views of the National Theatre Beishon states what it costs to run it . In interview, Michael Elliott, the National's Administrator, describes the aims of the theatre. Interview with Richard Hoggart, chairman of the Arts Council's Drama Panel, who explains the financial problems faced by the National Theatre. In interview Peter Hall puts the case for continued subsidy of the theatre. Over shots of a stage set being put together Elliott compares the National Theatre with manufacturing organisations he has been involved with. Further interviews with Rudman and Mitchell about the administrative side of running theatres. Elliott comments on the way in which the theatre's product is sold over shots of the foyer of the National Theatre. Interview with former Minister of Arts, Jennie Lee, Baroness of Ashridge. She expresses enthusiasm for the National Theatre and explains why it should be subsidised. Peter Hall adds his views on the value of a National Theatre to the nation. Shots of Parliament and Whitehall from the South Bank. Hoggart and Rudman talk about the relationship the National Theatre has with the Arts Council. Jennie Lee comments on the relationship the theatre has with government. Shots of the foyer at the National Theatre. Interview with Warren Mitchell about the nature of theatre audiences, Billington and Rudman also express views on this subject. Elliott then argues for greater research into theatre audiences. Hoggart gives the Arts Council's view of the problem of widening the appeal of the theatre. An extract from the National Theatre production is seen. Over film of a play on stage Beishon considers the role of the whole theatre system. Interviews with Peter Hall and Warren Mitchell, who explain what they believe is the purpose of the theatre.
Production number: FOUT021T
Videofinder number: 2706
Available to public: no