Definition of the National Theatre from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the National Theatre

; NAmE
(also the Royal National Theatre, informal the National)
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a modern building containing three theatres on London's South Bank, and the theatre company that performs there. The National Theatre company was started in 1963. Its home was the Old Vic until the new National Theatre building was opened in 1976. In 1988 the title Royal was officially added to the company's name to mark its 25th anniversary. However, most people call the company and the building by their original name. The three theatres at the National are the Lyttelton, the Olivier (named after the company's first artistic director, Lawrence Olivier) and the Cottesloe. The theatre presents a wide range of old and new plays and is known for the high quality of its productions.

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