Thursday 17 January 2019

Olivier Awards rename director award following Sir Peter Hall In Memoriam error

The best director prize will now be called the Sir Peter Hall Award for Best Director.

Sir Peter Hall (RSC/PA)
Sir Peter Hall (RSC/PA)

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

The Olivier Awards has renamed their best director prize in memory of Sir Peter Hall after they forgot to include the theatre giant in its In Memoriam segment.

The Olivier for best director will now be called the Sir Peter Hall Award for Best Director starting from next year’s ceremony, the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) said in a statement.

Sir Peter, founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company and director of the National Theatre, died aged 86 in September.

However, his name was not mentioned in a tribute to theatre industry figures who have died in the last year at Sunday night’s ceremony.

In a statement on the Official Theatre website on Tuesday, the SOLT apologised for “this serious error” and said they were reviewing their process for the In Memoriam segment for future ceremonies.

They added: “In recognition of Sir Peter’s phenomenal contribution to British theatre over many decades, and in close consultation with the Hall family, SOLT has taken the decision to rename the Olivier Award for Best Director the ‘Sir Peter Hall Award for Best Director’ from next year’s ceremony and in perpetuity thereafter.”

The Olivier Awards had already apologised for the error and released an edited version of the In Memoriam section after a number of members of the industry hit out at his omission.

Choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne said he was “flabbergasted” while actor Christopher Biggins called it “disgraceful”.

Tributes poured in for Sir Peter from the likes of Vanessa Redgrave, National Theatre director Rufus Norris, playwright Sir David Hare, actors Sir Patrick Stewart, Laurence Fox and Toby Stephens when his death was announced last year.

Sir Peter created the RSC to realise his vision of a resident ensemble of actors, directors and designers, producing modern and classic texts.

The company played in Stratford and also expanded into the Aldwych Theatre as its first London home.

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