Priscilla Hall of Grahamstown
1939 – 2017
Priscilla Hall, who has died aged 78 in the city where she lived her entire adult life, was a wise, vivid and humane presence who will be sorely missed by the many, many who loved her. Her combination of civic commitment and irrepressible enthusiasm made her a dynamic contributor to the social, political and cultural spheres of this town – including the Shakespeare Society.
From the days of its founding by their close friend and colleague Guy Butler, Priscilla and her husband Ron were leading spirits in the Shakespeare Society. Together with a few friends they also founded the Shakespeare Reading Group, an off-shoot whose independence and informal character Priscilla jealously guarded. She herself always read her roles with wisdom and care, and she had high expectations of her fellow cast members, whom she firmly urged to rehearse their parts!
Priscilla had a genius for the incisive word, the telling protest, the creative response. She was also a person of warmth and great empathy, but above all moral honesty and courage. These are not all qualities required in the Shakespeare Society, but as a reader, writer and life-long student, Priscilla would have been the first to say that – to the extent that she would acknowledge these qualities in herself – her relationship with Shakespeare deepened them within her. Her life-long marriage to a truly sensitive Shakespeare scholar also did its bit!
Priscilla was an effervescent combination of the delightful Rosalind, the irreverent Fallstaff and the searingly intelligent Hamlet – a wonderful presence to be in.
Chair: SSoSA Grahamstown