National Theatre to host an exhibition of its most “adventurous” posters, curated by Rick Poyner

25 September 2017

Edward II
Poster design: Ken Briggs
Photograph: Douglas H Jeffery

A new exhibition at the National Theatre will celebrate the most inventive poster design from the institution’s history, spanning from 1963 to the present day.

The five decade-spanning show has been curated by design critic Rick Poynor, who is currently the professor of design and visual culture at the University of Reading. It features designs for Bertolt Brecht’s Edward II, Martin Sherman’s groundbreaking play Bent and 2012’s adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The exhibition will include work by the theatre’s five creative directors – Ken Briggs, Richard Bird, Michael Mayhew, Charlotte Wilkinson and current creative director Ollie Winser – and its in-house agency Graphic Design Studio.

“The National Theatre has a long tradition of producing adventurous poster designs that encapsulate the inventiveness and energy of its productions,” said Poynor. “Each designer has maintained a very high standard of creativity and posters’ graphic styles have evolved to reflect the changing needs of the theatre and its audiences.”

Each of the works and accompanying interviews have been collected into a book published by Unit Editions, which will launch with the show.


Poster design: Richard Bird and Michael Mayhew


Poster design: Michael Mayhew
Photograph: Gordon Rainsford
Painting: Otto Dix


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Poster design and illustration: Charlotte Wilkinson

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About the Author

Laura Snoad

Laura is a London-based arts journalist who has been working for It’s Nice That on a freelance basis since 2016.

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