Theatre world pays tribute to Peter Hall


Dame Judi Dench, David Suchet and Vanessa Redgrave were among those paying tribute to Sir Peter Hall, a special service at Westminster Abbey on the first anniversary of his death.

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s founder, has died at the age of 86 years, six years after he was diagnosed with dementia.

Sir Trevor Nunn said to the congregation: “This loss to the world of theatre, and indeed for the world, is immeasurable.”

Dame Judi performed a speech of antony and Cleopatra at the memorial.


Suchet performed a speech from Amadeus, that Sir Peter direct at the National Theatre before becoming an Oscar winning film, while Redgrave gave a reading of the Bible Corinthians.

Other luminaries on Tuesday, the memorial service included Sir Kenneth Branagh, Stephen Fry, Felicity Kendall, Twiggy, Sir Ian McKellen, Penelope Keith, Sir Ben Kingsley, Joely Richardson, Patrick Stewart and Ralph Fiennes.

Sir Trevor has described the moment he first met Sir Peter at Cambridge, saying: “From that moment, I was ready to follow the man to the North Pole, the dark side of the Moon. I have known Peter Hall-effect.”


Playwright Sir David Hare said: “The best way we have to honor his memory is to try and give as much as he gave.”

Sir Peter has been married four times. His six children have offered prayers in celebration of his talent, and for his “characteristic glitter and its undeniable humanity.”
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During the service, his family has been described as “the largest of its ensemble.

Sir Peter became director of the National Theatre in 1973 and was responsible for the theatre of the passage from the Old Vic to the purpose-built complex on the South bank.


During his career, he has staged the English-language premiere of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and the world premiere of Harold Pinter’s the homecoming.

After leaving the National team in 1988, Sir Peter formed Peter Hall Company, and in 2003, he became the founder and director of the Rose Theatre Kingston.

He also directed his daughter, the actress Rebecca Hall, in 2003 the production of Shakespeare’s As You like it.

He was also a famous opera director and artistic director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera from 1984 to 1990.

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