Peter Hall (director)

Sir

Peter Hall

Peter Hall (director).jpg
Hall at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards in 2011
Born
Peter Reginald Frederick Hall

(1930-11-22)22 November 1930
Died11 September 2017(2017-09-11) (aged 86)
OccupationDirector
Years active1953–2011
Spouse(s)
Leslie Caron
(m. 1956; div. 1965)

Jacqueline Taylor
(m. 1965; div. 1981)

Maria Ewing
(m. 1982; div. 1990)

Nicola (Nicki) Frei
(m. 1990; his death 2017)
Children6, including:

Sir Peter Reginald Frederick Hall, CBE (22 November 1930 – 11 September 2017), was an English theatre, opera and film director whose obituary in The Times declared him "the most important figure in British theatre for half a century" and on his death a Royal National Theatre statement declared that Hall's "influence on the artistic life of Britain in the 20th century was unparalleled".

In 1955 Hall introduced London audiences to the work of Samuel Beckett with the UK premiere of Waiting for Godot. Hall founded the Royal Shakespeare Company (1960–68) and went on to build an international reputation in theatre, opera, film and television. He was director of the National Theatre (1973–88) and artistic director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera (1984–1990). He formed the Peter Hall Company (1998–2011) and became founding director of the Rose Theatre, Kingston in 2003. Throughout his career, he was a tenacious champion of public funding for the arts.[1][2]

Early life and career

Peter Reginald Frederick Hall was born in Suffolk at Bury St Edmunds, the only son of Grace Florence (née Pamment) and Reginald Edward Arthur Hall. His father was a stationmaster and the family lived for some time at Great Shelford Station.[3][4] He won a scholarship to The Perse School in Cambridge.[5] Before taking up a further scholarship to read English at St. Catharine's College, Cambridge, Hall did his National Service in Germany at the RAF Headquarters for Education in Bückeburg. Whilst studying at Cambridge he produced and acted in a number of plays, directing five in his final year and a further three for The Marlowe Society Summer Festival.[6] He served on the University Amateur Dramatic Club (ADC) committee before graduating in 1953. In the same year, Hall staged his first professional play, The Letter by W. Somerset Maugham, at The Theatre Royal Windsor. In 1954 and 1955, Hall was the director of the Oxford Playhouse where he directed several later prominent young actors including Ronnie Barker and Billie Whitelaw. Eileen Atkins and Maggie Smith were also part of the company as acting Assistants Stage Managers.[7]

From 1955–1957, Hall ran the Arts Theatre in London where he directed the English-language premiere of Waiting for Godot in 1955.[8][9] The production's success transformed his career overnight and attracted the attention, among others, of Tennessee Williams, for whom he would direct the London premieres of Camino Real (1957)[10] and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958),[11][page needed] and Harold Pinter.[12] Other productions at The Arts included the English language premiere of The Waltz of the Toreadors by Jean Anouilh.[13]

Other Languages
العربية: بيتر هال
Cymraeg: Peter Hall
español: Peter Hall
euskara: Peter Hall
فارسی: پیتر هال
Bahasa Indonesia: Peter Hall
italiano: Peter Hall
Nederlands: Peter Hall
polski: Peter Hall
português: Peter Hall
русский: Холл, Питер
Simple English: Peter Hall (director)
svenska: Peter Hall