The National's first performance - with Peter O'Toole as Hamlet - was given in 1963, under Laurence Olivier's Directorship.
For its first 13 years, the Company worked at the Old Vic Theatre, while waiting for its new home to be completed. In 1976, under Peter Hall, the move took place and the building was opened by The Queen. Since its inception, the National has presented nearly 500 plays, and several different productions can be seen in any one week. Successors to Peter Hall as Director of the Royal National Theatre have been Richard Eyre from 1988 to 1997, Trevor Nunn from 1997 to 2003 and Nicholas Hytner who took over in April 2003.