Sir Peter Hall: 1930-2017 – a photo retrospective

In sad news, the death of Sir Peter Hall, one of the great names in British theatre, has been announced today. Sir Peter died on 11 September at University College Hospital, at the age of 86, surrounded by his family.
As the below statement from the National Theatre reminds us, his achievements were unparalleled, his devotion to the arts undoubtable. And in this selection of photos from some of his productions for the NT, his was a rare artistic vision indeed.


Peter Hall was an internationally celebrated stage director and theatre impresario, whose influence on the artistic life of Britain in the 20th century was unparalleled. His extraordinary career spanned more than half a century: in his mid-20s he staged the English language premiere of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. In 1960, aged 29, Peter Hall founded the Royal Shakespeare Company which he led until 1968. The RSC realised his pioneering vision of a resident ensemble of actors, directors and designers producing both classic and modern texts with a clear house style in both Stratford and London.
Appointed Director of the National Theatre in 1973, Peter Hall was responsible for the move from the Old Vic to the purpose-built complex on the South Bank. He successfully established the company in its new home in spite of union unrest and widespread scepticism. After leaving the National Theatre in 1988, he formed the Peter Hall Company (1988 – 2011) and in 2003 became the founding director of the Rose Theatre Kingston. Throughout his career, Sir Peter was a vociferous champion of public funding for the arts.



Peter Hall’s prolific work as a theatre director included the world premieres of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming (1965), No Man’s Land (1975) and Betrayal (1978), Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus (1979), John Barton’s nine-hour epic Tantalus (2000); and the London and Broadway premieres of Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce (1977). Other landmark productions included Hamlet (1965, with David Warner), The Wars of the Roses (1963), The Oresteia (1981), Animal Farm (1984), Antony and Cleopatra (1987, with Judi Dench and Anthony Hopkins), The Merchant of Venice (1989, with Dustin Hoffman), As You Like It (2003, with his daughter Rebecca Hall) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2010, with Judi Dench). Peter’s last production at the National Theatre was Twelfth Night in 2011.
Sir Peter was diagnosed with dementia in 2011. He is survived by his wife, Nicki, and children Christopher, Jennifer, Edward, Lucy, Rebecca and Emma and nine grandchildren. His former wives, Leslie Caron, Jacqueline Taylor and Maria Ewing also survive him.

No Man’s Land – 1975

Photos by Anthony Crickmay

John Gielgud as Spooner,Ralph Richardson as Hirst,Michael Feast as Foster


Michael Feast as Foster,John Gielgud as Spooner,Ralph Richardson as Hirst,Terence Rigby as Briggs


Ralph Richardson as Hirst,John Gielgud as Spooner

Betrayal – 1978

Photos by Michael Mayhew

Michael Gambon as Jerry,Penelope Wilton as Emma


Daniel Massey as Robert,Michael Gambon as Jerry,Penelope Wilton as Emma


Penelope Wilton as Emma,Michael Gambon as Jerry

Amadeus – 1979 

Photos by Nobby Clark

Paul Scofield as Antonio,Simon Callow as Mozart


Dermot Crowley as The Venticelli,Paul Scofield as Antonio,Donald Gee as The Venticelli


Felicity Kendal as Constanze Weber,Paul Scofield as Antonio

The Oresteia – 1981

Photos by Nobby Clark



The Importance of Being Earnest – 1982

Photos by Zoe Dominic

Zoe Wanamaker as Gwendolen Fairfax,Martin Jarvis as John Worthing,Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell


Nigel Havers as Algernon Moncrieff,Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell


Martin Jarvis as John Worthing,Elizabeth Garvie as Cecily Cardew,Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell,Zoe Wanamaker as Gwendolen Fairfax


Anna Massey as Miss Prism,Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell

Animal Farm – 1984

Photos by Nobby Clark



Barrie Rutter as Napoleon,David Ryall as Squealer,Judith Paris as Muriel,Greg Hicks as Snowball

Twelfth Night – 2011

Photos by Nobby Clark

Tony Haygarth as Sea Captain,Rebecca Hall as Viola


Marton Csokas as Orsino,Rebecca Hall as Viola


David Ryall as Feste,Marton Csokas as Orsino,Rebecca Hall as Viola


Samuel James as Fabian,Simon Callow as Sir Toby Belch,Charles Edwards as Sir Andrew Aguecheek,Simon Paisley Day as Malvolio


Amanda Drew as Olivia,Rebecca Hall as Viola


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