You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Olivier Awards Rename Prize After Peter Hall Following ‘In Memoriam’ Blunder

Organizers of the Oliver Awards, Britain’s equivalent of the Tonys, apologized “unreservedly” Tuesday for omitting theater legend Peter Hall from the awards ceremony’s “In Memoriam” segment last weekend and said the prize for best director would henceforth be named after him.

The Society of London Theatre, which organizes the Oliviers, came under heavy criticism for what it acknowledged was a “serious error” in leaving out Hall from the roll call of prominent industry figures who died in 2017. Hall, who won two Tony Awards and founded the Royal Shakespeare Company, died last September at the age of 86.

The Society of London Theatre said Hall “was a giant of British theater and is sorely missed in the industry.” It has also issued an updated “In Memoriam” video including him.

“In recognition of Sir Peter’s phenomenal contribution to British theater over many decades, and in close consultation with the Hall family, [we have] taken the decision to rename the Olivier Award for Best Director the ‘Sir Peter Hall Award for Best Director’ from next year’s ceremony and in perpetuity thereafter,” the society said in a statement.

While omissions from “In Memoriam” segments at awards ceremonies often cause a stir on social media, the absence of Hall on the Oliviers’ list was seen as particularly egregious. Upon his death last year, the Times of London called Hall “the most important figure in British theater for more than half a century.”

Hall was nominated for the Tony Award for best director nine times, winning twice, for “The Homecoming” in 1967 and “Amadeus” in 1981. He founded the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1960 alongside Peter Barton, who died in January this year, and also served as director of Britain’s National Theatre, in London. The National’s first artistic director when it opened in 1963 was Laurence Olivier.

This year’s Olivier Award for best director was awarded Sunday night to Sam Mendes for his production of “The Ferryman,” a new play by Jez Butterworth, the writer of “Jerusalem.”

The Society of London Theatre said it is now reviewing the process by which people are included in the annual “In Memoriam” segment.

More Legit

  • Bryan Cranston First Time in Variety

    Bryan Cranston on His Early Roles, Dealing With Rejection and His 'Erasable Mind'

    Following his 2014 Tony Award for best actor as President Lyndon B. Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s play “All the Way,” Bryan Cranston is looking to add to his trophy collection this year with his performance as Howard Beale in “Network.” The deranged anchorman — who’s famously “mad as hell and not going to take this [...]

  • Ink Play West End London

    Wary Theater Rivalry Between London and New York Gives Way to a Boom in Crossovers

    Give or take a little tectonic shift, the distance between London and New York still stands at 3,465 miles. Arguably, though, the two theater capitals have never been closer. It’s not just the nine productions playing in duplicate in both locations — believed to be the most ever — with three more expected in the [...]

  • Alex Brightman Beetlejuice Broadway

    How Alex Brightman Brought a Pansexual Beetlejuice to Life on Broadway

    Alex Brightman gives the deadliest performance on Broadway — in a good way — in “Beetlejuice.” The big-budget musical adaptation of the 1988 film directed by Tim Burton has scored eight Tony nominations, including best actor. To play the frisky role, Brightman (“School of Rock”) dons Beetlejuice’s striped suit and an assortment of colorful wigs [...]

  • Santino Fontana Tootsie Broadway Illustration

    'Tootsie' Star Santino Fontana on the Challenges of His Tony-Nominated Dual Role

    Santino Fontana is doing double duty on Broadway this year. The “Tootsie” star scored his second Tony Award nomination this month for his hilarious portrayal of struggling actor Michael Dorsey and Dorothy Michaels, the female persona that Dorsey assumes to win a role in a play. The musical, based on the 1982 comedy starring Dustin [...]

  • Dear Evan Hansen

    Broadway Cast Albums Find Fresh Footing With Hip New Sounds, Viral Outreach

    Mixtapes. YouTube videos. Dedicated playlists. Ancillary products. Viral marketing. Epic chart stays. These are things you expect to hear from a record label discussing Cardi B or Beyoncé. Instead, this is the new world of a very old staple, the Broadway original cast recording. Robust stats tell the tale: Atlantic’s “Hamilton” album beat the record [...]

  • Ali Stroker Oklahoma

    Ali Stroker on 'Oklahoma!': 'This Show Doesn’t Follow the Rules and That Is So Who I Am'

    Ali Stroker is no stranger to rewriting history. With her 2015 Broadway debut in “Spring Awakening,” she became the first actor in a wheelchair to perform on the Great White Way. Three years later, she’s back onstage in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” as Ado Annie, the flirtatious local who splits her affections between a resident [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content