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NT Free Exhibitions - August to November 2010

A London Bestiary

Exhibition preview

AS WELL as the permanent exhibition Stage by Stage, the National Theatre hosts a changing programme of exhibitions throughout the year.

SE1 9PX: Hidden Corners, National Theatre – August 19 to September 19.

The public areas of the National Theatre occupy no more than a third of the total site, and some of the more obscure areas of the building are known to very few people.

With the aid of the technicians, actors and craftspeople who inhabit them, Miriam Nabarro has sought out these secret spaces and presents them in an exhibition of photographs that will surprise and intrigue.

Nabarro has worked as a designer on projects at the National Theatre since 2007.

A London Bestiary – September 23 to October 31.

Four sea-lions entwine themselves against a red brick wall, a plasterwork bat props up an empty pediment, while Landseer’s famous lions guard Nelson’s column. London displays a veritable menagerie of animals: some attached to famous landmarks, others perched in all but invisible gravity-defying positions, with many testifying to the heraldic symbolism that adorns our civic spaces.

Photographer Ianthe Ruthven has beautifully captured the creatures of the city in an exhibition that pays tribute to the imagination and humour of generations of architects and sculptors. Some may be familiar, others completely unknown.

Ralph Koltai – Stage 2 Metal Collage 2002 – 2010 – September 27 to November 14.

Ralph Koltai is Britain’s senior and celebrated theatre designer. He has embarked on a new challenge, returning to his roots as a 3-dimensional artist, creating a series of metal collages, mostly made from found objects on farms near his studio in France.

Koltai selects panels or pieces, predominantly metal, and dissects them in a compositional form. Not in themselves narrative, many spring from his former theatre designs, and have evolved from his life-time approach to his theatre work. A sheet of rusty metal became a wall in Simon Boccanegra; a dish and sphere the entrance to Caliban’s cave in The Tempest.

Infinite Variety and The Press Photographer’s Year 2010 are currently on display at the National Theatre.
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Discover: National Theatre is a programme of events and activities for people of all ages to discover more about the National Theatre. It includes:

Backstage insights – September 21, October 5 and 19 and November 2 at 6pm (1 hour).

Four sessions giving insight into how current National Theatre productions have been made, by the people who make them. For more information, visit

Theatreskills for families – October 25 to October 29; suitable for ages 8 – 12. To find out more, visit