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A Tribute to Sir Peter Hall

2nd October 2017

The eminent director of plays, opera and films died on September 11th 20017 aged 86.  Sir Peter was born and lived in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, where his father, Reg. worked for the railway.  The family subsequently moved to Cambridge where Peter later attended the University, and started his theatre directing career.

Bury St Edmunds Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (BSEAODS) can claim a unique connection with this outstanding theatrical figure.  His father, Reg. was a member in the mid-1920’s and appeared in the Society’s last production in the Theatre Royal before closure by its owners, Greene King, to become a barrel store (re-opened and restored 1965), and the first in The Playhouse in Buttermarket in the centre of town, then a cinema with a stage. His father also had a cameo role as the village policeman in Sir Peter’s poetic film of Suffolk rural life, Akenfield, (1975).  Sir Peter was also greatly involved with the latest restoration (2005/7) of our beautiful home, the Theatre Royal – the only working Regency theatre (1819) in the UK – giving advice and as President of the Restoration Fund Appeal.

On the occasion of BSEAODS Centenary in 2003, Sir Peter kindly sent us a congratulatory letter which recognised the family connection with the Society.

Joan Abbs

Archivist for BSEAODS