Peter Ruthven Hall
Peter provides consultancy on all aspects of theatre design, specialising in auditorium design, theatre planning, feasibility and briefing studies, seating system design, theatre sightlines and accessibility.
Peter spent eighteen years as a successful set and costume designer, working in theatre and opera before moving into theatre consultancy.
He is recognised for his extensive contribution to the Society of British Theatre Designers as well as his three books on British design. Through contact with other designers around the world, he has assembled exhibitions and made presentations at many conferences and was instrumental in winning the Golden Triga for Great Britain for the third time at the international Prague Quadrennial in 2003.
His impressive international set and costume design credits include ‘Der Stein der Weisen’ at Garsington Opera and ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ at Sheffield Crucible Theatre.
Peter’s consultancy work with Charcoalblue includes the Dorfman Theatre at the National Theatre, Hudson Theatre on Broadway and Leeds Playhouse.
Peter leads a discussion at our monthly theatre design forum
Peter and Kathryn discuss drawings for Belfast Grand Opera House
Peter's costume design for Der Stein der Weisen at Garsington Opera in 2006
Ballroom dancer Peter enjoys a turn with Freya at the Christmas party
What's the greatest lesson you've learnt as a Theatre Consultant?
Not everyone works at the same pace; some ideas develop quickly and others need teasing out over a longer period. Winning concepts can be iterated in a simple format using plain English and superb diagrams.
What first sparked your love of theatre or performing arts?
I went to the panto in Winchester Guildhall when I was 7 and was puzzled how Dick Whittington could set off for fame and fortune in London backed by a grey drape. He was going to need good scenery too and I was determined to provide it!
What qualities should a 'great performance space' have?
Great spaces lift the spirits, from having a stimulating name through to the way the seats are gathered around the performer. Sightlines and good audibility lead the way to determining a place where stories can be told ...
We hear you’re a talented ballroom dancer, are there any particular considerations when designing a space for dance?
Dancing on a solid floor saps the energy; floors that are responsive to movement enable me to dance for longer and to be more expressive. Ballroom dancers also need to look upwards so it’s good to have something pleasant to look at: “the money’s on the ceiling!”