Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Peter Hall, British Theater Director and Founder of Royal Shakespeare Company, Dies at 86

by Benedict Nightingale

New York Times

September 12, 2017

Peter Hall, who created the Royal Shakespeare Company at the age of 29, oversaw the National Theater’s move to the south bank of the Thames and exerted a commanding influence on theater in the English-speaking world for well over 50 years, died on Monday in London. He was 86.

His death, at University College Hospital, was announced by the National Theater, which said the cause was pneumonia.

Mr. Hall was long acknowledged as the leader and prime defender of a profession whose artistic health was often imperiled by financial cutbacks and political hostility in the second half of the 20th century. That the period was regarded as one of the theater’s greatest made his achievement all the more considerable.

As a director, Mr. Hall introduced Samuel Beckett to English-speaking audiences, staged the premieres of eight of Harold Pinter’s plays, helped revolutionize the acting of Shakespeare and, as artistic director of the Glyndebourne Festival in England from 1984 to 1990, brought a new realism to the performing of classic opera.


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