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Queen commemorates 50 years of National Theatre

The Queen has paid a visit to the National Theatre to commemorate its golden anniversary.

Half a century ago, the curtain had just come down on the theatre's first ever production 'Hamlet', directed by Sir Laurence Olivier and starring Peter O'Toole.

During today's tour of the theatre company, based on London's South Bank, the Queen met Joey the horse from the acclaimed production of Michael Morpurgo's 'War Horse'.

She reportedly told the mechanical animal, operated by three cast members, "It's lovely to see you again."

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Director of National Theatre to stand down

Nicholas Hytner
Hytner (right) has staged The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guv'nors. Credit: Ian West/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Sir Nicholas Hytner will step down as director of the National Theatre in 2015.

Executive director of the theatre Nick Starr is also to leave next year after 12 years.

Hytner said: “It's been a joy and a privilege to lead the National Theatre for 10 years and I'm looking forward to the next two.

“I have the most exciting and most fulfilling job in the English-speaking theatre, and after 12 years it will be time to give someone else a turn to enjoy the company of my stupendous colleagues, who together make the National what it is.”

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