Tributes paid to theatre’s Sir Peter Hall
Scarborough’s Alan Ayckbourn has paid tribute to Sir Peter Hall who has died at the age of 86.
The theatre giant founded the Royal Shakespeare Company at the age of 29 in 1960 and led the company until 1968.
Sir Alan said: “Peter was largely instrumental in getting my work taken seriously.
“Until his offer to stage a play of mine at the newly opened NT (National Theatre), I was considered by many to be a lightweight writer of boulevard comedies but thanks to his faith and encouragement, Peter changed all that for me, both as playwright and later as a director in my own right.
“I will remember him with gratitude and great fondness.”
He staged the English language premiere of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and the world premiere of Harold Pinter’s Homecoming.
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.
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.
In a statement, the National Theatre said it was deeply saddened to announce the death of “one of the great names in British theatre”.
Sir Peter Hall