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Final polishing of a play


After the run has finished
Peter Hall Theatre director
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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...

[Q] Yes.

Nearly always.

[Q] Yes. 

It may have had very bad notices, but there it is because the public say no no, this is worth something.

[Q] Yes.

It may have had very good notices and not been consistent.

[Q] Yeah, absolutely.

So I think, on the whole, we live in a... providing there's freedom of speech...

[Q] Truth will out.

Truth will out, as long as there's enough voices and they're not gagged...

[Q] Yes...

Or corrupted...

[Q] 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.

British-born theatre director, Sir Peter Hall (1930-2017), ran the Arts Theatre where, in 1955, he directed the English-language premiere of 'Waiting for Godot' by Samuel Beckett. He also founded the Royal Shakespeare Company when he was only 29, and directed the National Theatre from 1973 to 1988. He was at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-on-Avon for two season from 1957-1959. He also directed 'Akenfield' for London Weekend Television and ran the Peter Hall Company, which has 40 productions worldwide to its name. In 1963, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and in 1977 was knighted for his contribution to the theatre. In 1999, he was also honoured with a Laurence Olivier Award.

Listeners: John Goodwin

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.

Tags: theatre, play, critic, reviews

Duration: 1 minute, 4 seconds

Date story recorded: February 2006

Date story went live: 24 January 2008