Organisers of Sunday’s Olivier Awards have apologised for omitting director Sir Peter Hall from a tribute segment shown during the ceremony.
“We are hugely sorry for the oversight of leaving Sir Peter Hall out of our In Memoriam,” said the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) in a statement.
The founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company and former National Theatre director died in September, aged 86.
The failure to mark his death prompted dismay and disbelief on social media.
Olivier-winning choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne said the omission was “unforgivable”, while actor Christopher Biggins called it “disgraceful”.
The In Memoriam segment came midway through the ceremony, held at the Royal Albert Hall in London and subsequently broadcast on ITV.
Actor Michael Sheen introduced the segment, thanking those included “and many others who aren’t… for your contribution to our stages.”
Film actor Sir Roger Moore, US pop star David Cassidy and RSC co-founder John Barton were among those whose names and faces were projected on a screen.
Yet there was no mention of Sir Peter Hall – a man SOLT called “a peerless British director and theatre impresario” when he died last year.
“@OlivierAwards could you please explain why Peter Hall was not included in the list of people we have lost this year?” wrote his daughter Emma.
Her sentiments were echoed by theatre PR Kevin Wilson, who said it was “truly shameful that Sir Peter Hall was missed off the RIP section.”
In a statement on Monday, SOLT described Sir Peter as “a wonderful and inspiring figure within the UK theatre industry” who was “sorely missed”.
The society added that it had arranged for theatre lights in London’s West End to be dimmed when he passed away last year.
Hip hop sensation Hamilton was the big winner at this year’s Oliviers, receiving seven awards including best new musical.
Catherine Tate hosted the ceremony, which saw other prizes go to Bryan Cranston, Sam Mendes and Doctor Foster’s Bertie Carvel.
Sir Matthew and others also expressed regret that dancer and choreographer Scott Ambler was omitted following his death last month.