24 THE RIVER MAGAZINE | Spring 2018 | C U L T U R E | tickets as possible and you wouldn’t get that policy from any of the big theatres. They would tell you how they need to reflect society and allow the nation to examine themselves, which is great. But we just want to put on really good plays that will reach a wide and diverse group of people. We are making a big statement with our programme.” Their latest production, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, is directed by Hytner and stars David Calder, Michelle Fairley, David Morrissey and Ben Whishaw. It’s a bold and slick staging, which sees the audience thrown into the heart of the action. The two hour, interval-free production is impressive. Hytner bravely tackles Shakespeare’s history play making use of the auditorium’s flexible, modular design. Plinths rise from the ground, actors weave through the crowd and explosions fill the auditorium. The immersive nature of the show captures the excitement of THE BRIDGE THEATRE 3 Potters Fields Park SE1 2SG t: 0333 320 0051 e: boxoffice@bridgetheatre.co.uk w: www.bridgetheatre.co.uk being part of a mob. “I’ve not done a show where the action erupts out of the floor,”says Hytner. “The kind of shows that I had seen that made me think this was possible were the Punchdrunk shows. You know the audiences will do what they’re told if you tell them in the right way.” Hytner has witnessed successful productions at the National Theatre including The History Boys, War Horse, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and One Man, Two Guvnors. “I love going back to the National. I watch most things and I am really enjoying what I have seen,”says Hytner. “Every now and again we hope to have a hit that will have another life,” adds Starr. “If you directly look for it, it doesn’t happen but it’s the ones that are a bit unusual that hit the spot. The obvious example is War Horse. We didn’t think it would be an international hit – in fact I thought it would be the opposite of that,”he laughs. The future looks bright – what next? “We are looking at another venue at the moment for our next venture,” reveals Starr. “The London theatre audience is 25 per cent bigger than at the beginning of the century, it’s a real growth so we could do with more theatres. We’re looking at somewhere smaller but with the same kind of versatility and design of auditorium as The Bridge.” Hytner chimes in: “Look out for plenty more great shows to come!” Julius Caesar runs until 15 April 2018. Nick Starr and Nicholas Hytner in front of Tower Bridge If you directly look for it, it doesn’t happen but it’s the ones that are a bit unusual that hit the spot