Here, There, Gone: An Interview with Sir Nicholas Hytner

Nicholas Hytner’s Othello was so good I saw it twice.  It’s not the first time Sir Nick has wowed the critics.  And I somehow doubt it will be the last as I wait outside his office, fallen into an appropriately gelatinous state to accompany the close English summer heat.  I perch comfortably, staring at black-and-white action shots of hit after hit: Adrian Lester in Henry V, Simon Russell Beale in Much Ado About Nothing, James Corden in One Man, Two Guv’nors.  If there’s such thing as a grammar of theatre, Hytner is fluent in it. These days, he needs little introduction: the Cambridge alumnus who arrived at the National Theatre in 1990 via the English National Opera, the Leeds Playhouse and the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester has become one of Britain’s most well-respected directors.  One bookshelf in his office hosts a glass poster for One Man, Two Guv’nors; another …

The toy industry: Child’s play

“TWO toy industry heavyweights are in unfamiliar territory: they are watching their numbers tumble. Hasbro’s year-on-year operating profit was down 11% in the last quarter and Mattel’s net income fell 24%. Sales of Barbie, a Mattel property, plunged for the fourth quarter running, this time by 12%. After Buzz Lightyear’s first flight across Andy’s room in Toy Story,Sherriff Woody says mockingly, “That wasn’t flying! That was… falling with style!” Perhaps the same could be said of Hasbro and Mattel.”   Read more at The Economist…

Designer headphones: The sound of music

“FOR decades the market for expensive headphones was mainly limited to hi-fi buffs. But now that the boxy stereo system in the corner of the bedroom is largely a thing of the past, and young music fans listen mostly on portable devices, headphones have become as much of a fashion statement as the music player itself. Among the first to spot the potential of this market was Dr Dre, an American rapper-cum-tycoon.”   Read more at The Economist…