One of the key people responsible for the cultural revolution that led to a greater appreciation for local theatre, music, dance and the arts in general has died.
Tony Hall passed away yesterday morning, having suffered a heart attack at his home in Tobago. He was 71 years old.
Members of the cultural fraternity, including Hall’s close friends Robin Foster, Rhoma Spencer, Nikki Crosby, Franka Philip, Penelope Spencer, Dawad Phillip and others, took to social media expressing shock and grief over his sudden death.
Hall, born Michael Anthony Hall, was a playwright, screenwriter, actor and director. He was born in San Fernando in July 1948. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in drama and education from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, and obtained a diploma in film and advanced television production at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
In the mid-1980s, Hall teamed up with Chris Laird, Bruce Paddington, Errol Fabien and others to create the Gayelle television series, which provided a platform for all local cultural expressions and the arts and entertainment in general.
Hall is considered to be a pioneer in community television in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the wider Caribbean and Caribbean communities in Canada, London and the United States.
Through the video production house known as Banyan Ltd, Hall and the many people he worked alongside created a host of popular soap operas, sitcoms and current affairs programmes over the past four decades.
The Trinidad Theatre Workshop (TTW) yesterday issued the following statement: “It is with sadness that we join the theatre and national community in mourning the passing of theatre stalwart, Tony Hall. His pioneering work on local television and theatre, both here and abroad, is recognised. He worked with the TTW to present the Playwrighting Workshop since the Belmont days. To his family and friends in theatre, Gayelle The Caribbean and The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company and wider creative industries, we at TTW offer our sincerest condolences. Rest in Peace Tony Hall.”