Tributes paid to the­atre’s Sir Peter Hall

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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

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