Sir Peter Hall's (b. 1930) life has seen him running Arts Theatre, founding the Royal Shakespeare Company when he was only 29, and directing the National Theatre from 1973 to 1988. In 1955, he directed the English-language premiere of 'Waiting for Godot' by Samuel Beckett at the Arts Theatre, London. He was at Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-on-Avon for the 1957 to 1959 seasons. He also directed Akenfield for London Weekend Television and runs the Peter Hall Company, which has 40 productions worldwide to its name. Hall was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1963 and in 1977 was knighted for his contribution to the theatre. In 1999, he was also honoured with a Laurence Olivier Award.
I think the interesting thing is that... there is a kind of... golden mean that you're left with, with each piece of work. It's after the public have decided, it's after the critics have decided, it's after the media has decided, it's probably after the run has finished. There is a trace which is nearly always accurate... Yes. Nearly always. Yes It may have had very bad notices, but there it is because the public say no no, this is worth something. Yes. It may have had very good notices and not been consistent. Yeah, absolutely. So I think, on the whole, we live in a... providing there's freedom of speech... Truth will out. Truth will out, as long as there's enough voices and they're not gagged... Yes... or corrupted...Yes. That is a worry in this day and age that we're getting more and more nannyish... in you know, in the way we're treated.
Head of Press at the National Theatre (1974-1988), and earlier at the RSC (1960-1974), John Goodwin is the author of a best-selling paperback, A short Guide to Shakespeare's Plays, and co-author of Trader Faulkner's one-man show, Losing My Marbles. He is also editor of the play, Sappho, based on Alphonse Daudet's novel, and editor of a number of successful books, among them, Peter Hall's Diaries, and, British Theatre Design - the modern age.