R.I.P. Peter Hall

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Big Magilla
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Re: R.I.P. Peter Hall

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:23 am

Demenita takes many different forms. My father was diagnosed in 2006, died in 2011 at 91, but the disease never progressed beyond the early stages. One of 11 siblings, he was the last of the brothers, and is survived by three sisters, now 98, 88 and 86. The 98-year-old has been in a care facility for some time, and has no idea who anyone is but still remembers the lyrics to songs, will sing "Shenandoah" for anyone who asks. We are concerned about the 86-year-old, especially after what happened this past weekend. She called my brother to tell him that my 90-year-old uncle and husband of the 88-year-old had called to tell her that the 88-year-old had died, but she couldn't tell anyone right away because she doesn't have long distance and had to wait until she could call from a neighbor's house in the morning. My brother subsequently notified as many family members as could think of and put out a tribute on Facebook. That evening, my 90-year-old uncle called him to say "she's not dead!" He had called the 86-year-old to let her know that her sister had a stroke and was in the hospital, but doing OK. Now the family is wondering whether she is just hard of hearing or whether her mind is going as well.

dws1982
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R.I.P. Peter Hall

Postby dws1982 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:42 am

He did make some movies, but it's hard to remember what any of them were without looking on IMDB; he's certainly far more notable for what he did in theatre.

It says that he had been diagnosed with dementia in 2011. My grandmother just died this past summer after years of suffering from dementia for a similar length of time; I can imagine imagine, at least to a small degree, what he and his family have been through over the past several years, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

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Sir Peter Hall, RSC founder and former National Theatre director, dies aged 86

Sir Peter Hall, the former director of the National Theatre and founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, has died aged 86, the theatre said.

He died on Monday at University College hospital in London, with his family at his bedside.

During a career that spanned more than half a century he staged the English-language premiere of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, and the world premiere of Harold Pinter’s Homecoming.

In a statement, the National Theatre said it was deeply saddened to announce the death of “one of the great names in British theatre”.

“Peter Hall was an internationally celebrated stage director and theatre impresario, whose influence on the artistic life of Britain in the 20th century was unparalleled,” it said.

He founded the RSC in 1960, aged 29, leading it until 1968.

“The RSC realised his pioneering vision of a resident ensemble of actors, directors and designers producing both classic and modern texts with a clear house style in both Stratford and London,” the National Theatre said.

After being appointed director of the National Theatre in 1973, Hall was responsible for the move from the Old Vic to the purpose-built complex on the South Bank.

Sir Peter Hall: 'Politicians don't grasp the case for the arts'

“He successfully established the company in its new home in spite of union unrest and widespread scepticism,” the theatre added.

After leaving the NT in 1988, he formed the Peter Hall Company, and in 2003 became the founding director of the Rose Theatre Kingston.

Hall was diagnosed with dementia in 2011.

Former directors of the NT were among the first to pay tribute. Sir Nicholas Hytner, its director from 2003 to 2015, said: “Without him there would have been no Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre’s move to the South Bank might have ended in ignominious failure, and the whole idea of the theatre as a public service dedicated both to high seriousness and popularity would not have seized the public imagination. He was a man of great warmth, and mischievous wit.”

Sir Trevor Nunn, who was NT director from 1997 to 2003, said: “In originating the RSC, he created an ensemble which led the world in Shakespeare production, but which triumphed to the same extent in presenting new plays of every kind. Not only a thrilling and penetrating director, he was also the great impresario of the age.

“He alone had the showmanship and energy to establish the three-ring circus of our unique National Theatre on the South Bank. Peter Hall is a legend, whose legacy will benefit many generations to come. And yes, he was my beloved friend for 50 years.”

Sir Richard Eyre, NT director from 1988 to 1997, called Hall the “godfather” of British theatre. “Peter created the template of the modern director – part-magus, part-impresario, part-politician, part celebrity,” he said. “Like countless directors, writers and actors of several generations I have much to be grateful to him for.”

Rufus Norris, the current NT director, said: “We all stand on the shoulders of giants and Peter Hall’s shoulders supported the entirety of British theatre as we know it. All of us, including those in the new generation of theatre-makers not immediately touched by his influence, are in his debt. His legendary tenacity and vision created an extraordinary and lasting legacy for us all.”

Hall’s prolific work as theatre director included the world premiere of John Barton’s nine-hour epic Tantalus in 2000 and the London and Broadway premieres of Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce in 1977.

Other landmark productions included Hamlet (1965) with David Warner, Antony and Cleopatra (1987) with Judi Dench and Anthony Hopkins, The Merchant of Venice (1989) with Dustin Hoffman, As You Like It (2003) with his daughter Rebecca Hall, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2010) with Judi Dench. His last production at the National Theatre was Twelfth Night in 2011.

He was also an internationally renowned opera director, and was artistic director of Glyndebourne from 1984 to 1990, directing more than 20 productions. He worked at many of the world’s leading houses, including the Royal Opera, the Metropolitan Opera and Bayreuth where, in 1983, he staged Wagner’s Ring Cycle to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer’s death.

He is survived by his wife, Nicki, and children Christopher, Jennifer, Edward, Lucy, Rebecca and Emma, and nine grandchildren. His former wives, Leslie Caron, Jacqueline Taylor and Maria Ewing also survive him. There will be a private family funeral and details of a memorial service will be announced at a later date.


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