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9 Marvellous Things Director Peter Hall Did For British Theatre

The Royal Shakespeare Company founder and former National Theatre director has died aged 86.

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Sir Peter Hall, who founded the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), has died aged 86.

He was instrumental in changing the landscape of British theatre and opera, directing landmark performances and founding what are now British institutions. Here are some of his stand-out moments.
Michael Walter / PA Wire/PA Images

He was instrumental in changing the landscape of British theatre and opera, directing landmark performances and founding what are now British institutions. Here are some of his stand-out moments.

1. In 1955 Hall put on the first British performance of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot at the Arts Theatre in London.

(This is Waiting for Godot performed in 2015.)
Alan Mccredie / Press Association Images

(This is Waiting for Godot performed in 2015.)

2. He directed Laurence Olivier in Coriolanus in 1959 at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.

Erich Auerbach / Getty Images

3. He founded the RSC in 1960, aged just 29.

Hall, facing camera on the left, talking to members of the RSC in 1965.
Michael Stroud / Getty Images

Hall, facing camera on the left, talking to members of the RSC in 1965.

4. During his tenure there, he directed the world premiere of Harold Pinter's The Homecoming in 1965.

Michael Bryant and Vivien Merchant in The Homecoming.
Keystone / Getty Images

Michael Bryant and Vivien Merchant in The Homecoming.

5. But his most notable production while there was The Wars of the Roses, a three-part adaptation of four of Shakespeare's history plays.

Making The War of the Roses via YouTube / Illuminations media / Via illuminationsmedia.co.uk

6. In 1972 he was appointed director of the National Theatre, overseeing its move to the South Bank – and turned widespread criticism of the move into acclaim on completion.

Graham Wood / Getty Images

7. 1975 saw the world premiere of Pinter's No Man's Land, in which Hall directed John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.

(Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart in a promotional still for the play, 2016.)
Luke Fontana / Press Association Images

(Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart in a promotional still for the play, 2016.)

8. Hall directed Judi Dench in a production of Anthony and Cleopatra in 1987.

Alastair Muir / Alastair Muir/REX/Shutterstock

9. And Vanessa Redgrave starred in Orpheus Descending for Hall's own company after he left the National Theatre in 1988.

Alastair Muir / Alastair Muir/REX/Shutterstock

Rose Troup Buchanan is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rose Troup Buchanan at Rose.Buchanan@BuzzFeed.com.

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