Monday 20 August 2018

The Olivier Awards apologises for Sir Peter Hall omission

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

Sir Peter Hall (RSC)
Sir Peter Hall (RSC)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The Olivier Awards has apologised for not including theatre great Sir Peter Hall in its In Memoriam segment at Sunday night’s awards.

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

But his name was not mentioned in a tribute to theatre industry figures who have died in the last year.

Choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne said he was “flabbergasted”, actor Christopher Biggins called it “disgraceful” while producer Emma Hall said it was “painful to see someone you loved being so casually forgotten by an industry to which he gave so much”.

In a statement on Twitter, the Olivier Awards said: “We are hugely sorry for the oversight of leaving Sir Peter Hall out of our In Memoriam during last night’s Olivier Awards.

“Peter, founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company and director of the National Theatre, was a wonderful and inspiring figure within the UK theatre industry and is sorely missed.”

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.

The West End production of Hamilton swept the board at the Olivier Awards with seven wins from its record-breaking 13 nominations.

The hip hop musical, which tells the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton, scooped both best new musical and outstanding achievement in music.

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