Venues across the West End and on Broadway will be dimming their lights on Friday 15 September in memory of Sir Peter Hall, the peerless British director and theatre impresario.
Before the evening’s performances commence on 15 September, audience members and industry professionals will recognise one of the greatest names in British theatre while lights are dimmed for one minute as a mark of respect. The tradition, which is performed to honour theatre’s most prestigious and loved contributors, will take place across the West End at 19:00 (BST) and on Broadway at 19:45 (ET).
Peter Hall’s extraordinary career spanned more than half a century. In 1960, aged 29, he founded the Royal Shakespeare Company which he led until 1968. In 1973 he was appointed Director of the National Theatre and oversaw the move from the Old Vic to its current home on the South Bank.
After leaving the National Theatre in 1988, he formed the Peter Hall Company (1988 – 2011), and in 2003 became the founding director of the Rose Theatre Kingston. His productions were acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic and his work spanned theatre and opera. Peter Hall was Artistic Director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera (1984 – 1990) and worked at many of the world’s leading houses including The Royal Opera, the Metropolitan Opera and Bayreuth.
Sir Peter Hall received the Society of London Theatre’s Special Award at the 1999 Olivier Awards. In 2011 he received the award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre at the 2011 UK Theatre Awards.
Julian Bird, Chief Executive of Society of London Theatre, said: “Sir Peter Hall’s impact on the arts is immeasurable. As a visionary Artistic Director, and multiple Tony and Olivier Award winner, he changed the theatrical landscape forever. From the companies he founded, to the institutions he shaped and built, his legacy lives on in the many thousands of people he worked with and inspired. Throughout his life he was a tireless advocate for the power of theatre and the important role it should play in people’s lives, His voice, passion and ideas will be missed by all.”
Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, said: “Peter Hall was an unrelenting advocate for the arts who worked tirelessly to bring new life to classic works and introduced new work that became classics. With every project, he pushed himself to explore, experiment and always seek the truth. He didn’t just make theatre, he created an environment for it to thrive by founding and leading some of the most respected organizations in the industry. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and colleagues.”