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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Theatre giant Peter Hall dies

Hall was the first to bring Waiting for Godot to English-speaking audiences

(FILE PHOTO) It has been announced English theatre director Sir Peter Hall has died at the age 86 on September 12,2017. The English actor and director Laurence Olivier, and the English theatre director Sir Peter Hall on the terrace of the National Theatre, London.  Original Publication: People Disc - HW0666   (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) It has been announced English theatre director Sir Peter Hall has died at the age 86 on September 12,2017. The English actor and director Laurence Olivier, and the English theatre director Sir Peter Hall on the terrace of the National Theatre, London. Original Publication: People Disc - HW0666 (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Sir Peter Hall, a giant of the global theatre world, founder of the UK’s Royal Shakespeare Company and former National Theatre director has died at the age of 86.

He died on Monday at University College hospital in London, surrounded by his family, the National Theatre said in a statement.

Highlights of a career brimming with highlights included directing the very first English language production production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot at London’s Arts Theatre and giving Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming its World Premiere in 1965.

Hall founded the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1960, and remained its chief for eight years, eventually moving on to direct the National Theatre in 1973 and oversee the company’s move from The Old Vic to the South Bank Complex.

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

Hall also regularly dabbled in film and TV, filming many of his own stage productions, including a 1973 adaptation of The Homecoming, and presented the London Weekend Television arts magazine show Aquarius from 1975-1976.

Rufus Norris, current director of the National Theatre, 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 had been diagnosed with dementia in 2011. There will be a private family funeral, with details of a memorial service to be announced at a later date, according to the BBC.

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