Sir Peter Hall, who virtually single-handedly transformed British theatre and established it as gold standard over fifty years, has died. Described as “a colossus”, his tunnel-visioned determination in his late twenties formed the Royal Shakespeare Company and he then went on to establish the National Theatre on the South Bank; and was much lauded for his opera productions. He premiered Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in the 1950s to almost universal bewilderment, which later turned into a classic, and 25 years later Peter Schaffer’s Amadeus, which was a blockbusting success; along the way of a long career he produced hundreds of Shakespearean and modern plays. His range was astonishing. He was known as a “boy wonder” and then a Machiavellian schemer and those who knew him said “he was a man of great warmth and mischievous wit.” Another commentator described him as “a large, loud, stubborn man – who tended to attract admirers and detractors of equal fervour”.
Born 22 November 1930 with a ratcatcher grandfather and railwayman father, he started play going at 12 by train to London or cycling to Stratford, won a scholarship to Cambridge where he started directing; and never looked back.
His last degree Scorpio Sun was conjunct Venus trine the super-confident Jupiter Pluto in Cancer (much like Pierre Berge born a week earlier, see post below) – so ultra-charming, but also obsessive, hyper-determined, lucky and resourceful. He had an entrepreneurial, inspirational Fire Grand Trine of Mars in flamboyant Leo trine Mercury in Sagittarius trine Uranus, making him talented, a risk-taker and attention-seeking.