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.
[Q] Of all the work you've done, if you were to pick out four or five pieces that were particularly memorable. Which would you pick out? I know which I would.
It's almost an impossible question. Really Peter? Yes, yes. The…. The… that Godot that I just spoke of in Bath has to figure. I mean going… going way, way, way, way back, the Twelfth Night at Stratford with Dorothy Tutin and Geraldine McEwan, the Troilus and Cressida in the Sand, the whole of the Wars of the Roses… The Homecoming — Pinter play. The Oresteia? The Oresteia. That was new country. I've always been obsessed by masks because of this thing of, finding the form and then finding the feeling. Now, if you have the form of a mask put on you, you have to deal with the feeling.
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.
Waiting for Godot, Bath, Royal Theatre Bath, Twelfth Night, Stratford-upon-Avon, RSC, Royal Shakespeare Company, Troilus and Cressida, The Sands Centre, The Wars of the Roses, The Homecoming, The Oresteia, Dorothy Tutin, Geraldine McEwan, Harold Pinter