Peter Hall Revives Repertory at Bath in June 2003Date: 2 December 2002
Sir Peter Hall (pictured) is to revive his dreams for a repertory stage company in summer 2003, though not in London, at least not initially. According to Variety, the septuagenarian director - founding director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and former artistic director of the Royal National Theatre - will hold a summer residency, comprising four plays performed by an ensemble, at the Theatre Royal Bath ahead of possible West End transfers for at least two of the productions.
Opening the week of 23 June 2003 will be Hall's revivals of Harold Pinter's Betrayal and Noel Coward's Design for Living along with Thea Sharrock's production of the rarely performed DH Lawrence play, The Fight for Barbara.
From 11 to 30 August 2003, they will be joined in the schedule by Hall's first-ever production of the Shakespearean comedy As You Like It, starring in the role of Rosalind Hall's daughter Rebecca Hall, who has just been nominated for a Whatsonstage.com London Newcomer of the Year Award for her performance in Hall's West End mounting of Mrs Warren's Profession.
Hall's previous attempts to bring repertory into the commercial West End have proved fraught. Though critically acclaimed, the Peter Hall Company's 1997 residency at the Old Vic ended after just one season when previous owners the Mirvishes put the theatre up for sale. Relocated to the Piccadilly, the Company closed down once again in February 1999 after funding problems and a grant refusal from the Arts Council.
Despite these setbacks, Hall has remained busy, directing both in the US and in the UK, where his recent productions have included the Greek epic Tantalus at the RSC, The Royal Family (with Judi Dench and Harriet Walter), Lady Windermere's Fan (with Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson), Bacchae at the National, and the centenary production of Shaw's Mrs Warren's Profession, now playing at the West End's Strand Theatre with Brenda Blethyn in the title role.
- by Terri Paddock