Sir Peter Hall, founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, former director of the Royal National Theatre and an influential director of plays on both sides of the Atlantic, has been appointed artistic director of the Old Vic company in London.
His production of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband is running in the West End and on Broadway.
Hall's initial five-year tenure at the Old Vic begins in January 1997 with the formation of the new "Peter Hall Company at the Old Vic," which will consist of a 15-member acting ensemble that will perform what's described as one of the most ambitious repertoires in the English-speaking theatre world: 10 performances a week over seven days per week. The inaugural season will commence March 4, 1997 with a subscription season of five new plays and five classics, which will be performed in repertoire. Titles will be announced this autumn.
Hall will direct four of the five classics; Dominic Drumgoole of London's Bush Theatre will supervise the five new plays. The company promises that theatregoers will be able to see five different shows each weekend at the Old Vic.
Hall began his career at the Arts Theatre in London and founded the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1960. He served as artistic director there 1960-68. He served as director of the Royal National Theatre 1973-1988, during which time he oversaw its transfer to its opulent new multi-stage complex on the south bank of the Thames. Since then he's served as director of The Peter Hall Company. The Old Vic season will be presented in collaboration with producer Bill Kenwright. The Old Vic is owned by Canadian entrepreneur David Mirvish, who also owns the Royal Alexandra and Princess of Wales theatres in Toronto.