Shakespeare in the Theatre: Peter Hall

Hampton-Reeves, Stuart (2019) Shakespeare in the Theatre: Peter Hall. Bloomsbury Publishing, London. ISBN 9781472587107

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Peter Hall directed his first Shakespeare production in 1954 and his last in 2011. His career spanned more than half-a-century of innovation in theatre and, for much of that time, Hall was at its epicentre. His achievements as the founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and then the second (and to date longest-serving) Director of the National Theatre (NT) have been the subject of many studies, but his work as a director of Shakespeare has often been in the background, footnotes to his career as a maker of theatrical institutions. For the purposes of this study, the story of the RSC and the NT is part of the background to Hall’s work as a maker of theatre. Some of his productions have been so significant that they have been the subject of scholarly articles, university dissertations and monographs, but many have never been studied in any depth. To date, no study has attempted to bring all of Hall’s Shakespeare productions together and see them in a context which arcs from the post-war welfare capitalism of the 1950s through to the post-9/11 turn back to war and nationalism in the first decade of the new millennium. This book aims to do that.

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