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National Theatre - Free Exhibitions (Summer 2008)

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AS WELL as the permanent exhibition Stage by Stage, the National Theatre hosts a changing programme of exhibitions throughout the year. Five are planned for Summer 2008.

‘68: The News, The Stories, The Photographs – May 2 to June 28.

As one of the world’s leading newspapers, the International Herald Tribune (IHT) is famous for its balanced, intelligent perspective and exploration of all areas of human interest. Its journalists witnessed and wrote about the extraordinary events of ‘68, making the stories of the people who fought for their voices to be heard available to readers in every corner of the globe.

The striking photographs in this exhibition, contextualised by front pages, will illustrate why 1968 was unique and tell the story of a seminal year in world history.

Ashington Group: The Pitmen Painters – May 19 to June 25.

The Ashington Group of painters, pitmen most of them, flourished in Northumberland between the early thirties and the mid seventies. They began as a WEA (Workers Educational Association) class in art appreciation but they took to painting and became renowned for their work.

This exhibition has paintings, drawings and sculpture by Oliver Kilbourn and other members of this unique body of artists, and complements Lee Hall’s new play The Pitmen Painters showing in the Cottesloe Theatre.

Upshot: Photographs by Alan Williams – June 20 to July 20.

Upshot showcases hidden spaces at the top of London’s highest buildings, from its great institutions to its residential homes, documenting the exotic through to the mundane. It follows on from Alan Williams’ previous explorations of subterranean London in Suburban and the hidden destinations of the DLR in Sidetrack.

Forming a key part of the London Festival of Architecture 2008, the exhibition will involve the hanging of large-scale images on and around the terraces of the National Theatre.

The Press Photographer’s Year 08 – July 5 to August 30.

The Press Photographer’s Year is the only competition that showcases the outstanding press photography taken for and used by the UK media. This exhibition documents the world in 2007 and proves once again that even in a world of instant communication, the traditional still image burns the keenest, fastest impression on the public conscience.

The Press Photographer’s Year returns to the National Theatre for a third year and is held in association with The British Press Photographers’ Association.

Live Olympic Picture Desk

A changing photo montage of the very best sports action sent directly from the Olympic Games in Beijing to the Lyttelton Foyer – updated every evening from August 18 to August 24.