A tribute to Sir Peter Hall from Tom Morris, Artistic Director, Bristol Old Vic

A tribute from Tom Morris, Artistic Director, Bristol Old Vic


Image: Hulton Archive

All at BOV would like to add our voices to those mourning the death of the great Peter Hall, in celebrating his memory and the extraordinary impact he had on our industry. Even though he became known as a traditionalist in later life, it is the extraordinary ground-breaking vision he bought to the RSC in its early years which has most inspired our adventures in Bristol over the last 8 years.


I thank Michael Boyd, former artistic director of the RSC, for introducing me to the electrifying speech which Peter Hall made to the members of his brand new company back in 1963. It is an inspiration to all artists to resist the pressure to become institutionalised. We have found it so inspiring at the Bristol Old Vic, that we commissioned the composer Adrian Sutton to set it to music.

We are lucky. We don't have lots of committees, lots of traditions. Our company is young. We are searching, and whatever we find today, a new search will be necessary tomorrow. The theatre is a quest, not an acceptance. Accept a theory and you'll by-pass the creative process and the theory will sit on you like an unlikely false nose"

- Peter Hall
From a talk given to The Royal Shakespeare Company in January, 1963