Sir Peter Reginald Frederick Hall, CBE (22 November 1930 – 11 September 2017), was an English theatre, opera and film director. His obituary in The Times declared him "the most important figure in British theatre for half a century" and on his death, a Royal National Theatre statement declared that Hall's "influence on the artistic life of Britain in the 20th century was unparalleled".
In 1955 Hall introduced London audiences to the work of Samuel Beckett with the UK premiere of Waiting for Godot. Hall founded the Royal Shakespeare Company (1960–68) and went on to build an international reputation in theatre, opera, film and television. He was director of the National Theatre (1973–88) and artistic director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera (1984–1990). He formed the Peter Hall Company (1998–2011) and became founding director of the Rose Theatre, Kingston in 2003. Throughout his career, he was a tenacious champion of public funding for the arts.
He is also known as Sir Peter Reginald Frederick Hall and Sir Peter Hall.
On 11 September 2017, Hall died from pneumonia at University College Hospital, London, surrounded by family. He was 86 years old.
His obituary in The Times declared him “the most important figure in British theatre for half a century” and a Royal National Theatre statement declared that Hall's “influence on the artistic life of Britain in the 20th century was unparalleled”.
Many luminaries of British theatre paid tribute to Hall. Nicholas Hytner said: “Without him there would have been no Royal Shakespeare Company.” Trevor Nunn said: “Not only a thrilling director, he was the great impresario of the age.” Richard Eyre called Hall the “godfather” of British theatre: “Peter created the template of the modern director – part-magus, part-impresario, part-politician, part celebrity.” Impresario Cameron Mackintosh said: “It’s thanks to Peter Hall that people like Trevor Nunn, Nicholas Hytner and Sam Mendes transformed musical theatre around the world.” Theatre critic Michael Coveney said that he believed Hall's production of The Wars of the Roses “recast the history plays and put them at the centre of our culture”.