Preview: The Peter Hall Company 2008, Theatre Royal, Bath
Tuesday 01 July 2008
The theatre, opera and film director Sir Peter Hall was only 29 years old when he founded the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1960. Since then he has been director of the National Theatre and artistic director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera. In 1988 he formed The Peter Hall Company that celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
He was knighted for his services to British theatre in 1977 and earlier this year he became director emeritus of The Rose in Kingston upon Thames. This new theatre opened its doors for the first time in January with the English Touring Theatre's production of Uncle Vanya, which was directed by Sir Peter.
Has he ever contemplated a career that didn't involve theatre? "No, never," he says. "I was starstruck at about the age of 12 when I saw Sir John Gielgud perform. We lived on the outskirts of Cambridge – my father was a relief railway man – and it was an oasis of arts during the war because of the evacuation policy. It is always helpful to know what you want to do – I see that with my own children now – but it doesn't take away the nerves."
The Peter Hall Company returns for its sixth season at the Theatre Royal Bath this year, but how does the director narrow down his choice of plays for each season? "You have the one – and the others seem right to go with it," he says. Are there any themes that link the main plays this year? "Families and the woman's position in society."
Sir Peter's starting point this year was an adaptation of Henry James's novel The Portrait of a Lady, a world premiere, which he directs along with Ibsen's A Doll's House. Both plays star Catherine McCormack. Other productions include Peter Nichols' comedy Born in the Gardens, directed by Stephen Unwin. Stephanie Cole plays Maud, a character who clings to the past even when offered freedom from it following a death in the family.
The last show in the season is by the Royal Opera House, which will be at the Theatre Royal Bath for the first time. Their production, Faeries, is a family show with puppetry and dance.
3 July to 30 August (01225 448 844)
peopleContenders for Time magazine's Person of the Year are a mixture of the good, the bad and the holy
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
danceUnder Tamara Rojo's inspired direction, it seems possible that it could challenge the dominance of the Royal Ballet. We meet some established names and rising stars
travelDiscover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Government delays EU immigration report because it is too positive
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent
- < Previous
- Next >