Peter Hall (director)

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Sir Peter Reginald Frederick Hall , CBE (born November 22, 1930 in Bury St Edmunds , England , † September 11, 2017 in London ) was a British theater , opera and film director .

Live and act

Peter Hall was born in 1930 in Bury St. Edmunds, England, and went to school in Cambridge . Hall learned Russian while serving in the army. During his studies at the University of Cambridge , where he graduated in 1953, he starred and directed several plays. In 1953 he also directed his first play on a professional stage, the Theater Royal in Windsor . From 1954 to 1955 he was engaged at the Oxford Playhouse and the Arts Theater Club in London . In August 1955 he staged the English-language premiere of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett at the Arts . From 1956 to 1959 he directed the theater. In the seasons from 1956 to 1960 he was also at the Royal Shakespeare Theater in Stratford-upon-Avon . His productions here included Cymbeline with Peggy Ashcroft ; Coriolanus with Laurence Olivier and A Midsummer Night's Dream with Charles Laughton .

Hall was best known for his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company , which he founded in 1960 at the age of 29. He was its artistic director until 1968. From 1973 to 1988 he was artistic director of the Royal National Theater and in 1973 played a supporting role in Maximilian Schell's award-winning film The Pedestrian . In 1974 he played the main male role in the Eric Malpass film adaptation As a mother on strike . During this time he moved with the ensemble to the newly built theaters on the South Bank . He was also a member of the Arts Council of Great Britain . He resigned from both positions in protest at the cut in public funding. After leaving the National Theater, he formed his own company, the Peter Hall Company , with which he staged a series of plays at the Old Vic .

Hall has directed at many of the leading opera houses, including the Royal Opera House London, the Metropolitan Opera in New York City , Bayreuth (a production of Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung ), the Houston Grand Opera and Geneva .

His last project was The Rose of Kingston in Kingston upon Thames , which opened in January 2008 with Chekhov'sOnkel Vanja ”, a production that Hall himself staged. However, Hall resigned immediately afterwards in favor of Stephen Unwin as artistic director. The Rose Theater draws its inspiration from the eponymous theater from Shakespeare's time, which, like the Globe Theater, was one of the most important of its time.

In 1963 he was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE); In 1977 he was ennobled as Sir for his services to the theater. In 1999 he received the Laurence Olivier Theater Award . He was named Chancellor of Kingston University in 2000. 2006 gave him the University of Bath , the honorary doctorate .

Hall was married four times, including the actress Leslie Caron and the opera singer Maria Ewing . With Ewing he had the daughter Rebecca Hall (* 1982), who works as an actress and has appeared several times under his direction. The director Edward Hall (* 1967) comes from his second marriage .

Hall died in London's University College Hospital in September 2017 at the age of 86 .

Productions (selection)


Publications (selection)

  • 1970: The Wars of the Roses (with John Barton)
  • 1993: Making an Exhibition of Myself (autobiography) ISBN 1-84002-115-2
  • 1990: The Wild Duck (translation by Ibsen with Inga-Stina Ewbank)
  • 1999: The Necessary Theater
  • 2000: The Masterbuilder (translation by Ibsen with Inga-Stina Ewbank)

Films (selection)



Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Caroline Davies, Sir Peter Hall, theater, film and opera director, dies aged 86 , in: The Guardian , September 12, 2017, accessed September 12, 2017
  2. ^ Hall: Making an Exhibition of Myself p. 101
  3. ^ Hall: Making an Exhibition of Myself p. 435ff