A stage director while still a student, Hall soon achieved prominence directing plays and as managing director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. An occasional film director starting with the 1968 satire Work Is a Four-Letter Word, Hall has had an eclectic career, ranging from the adultery drama Three Into Two Won't Go and the caper tale Perfect Friday to adaptations of Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Harold Pinter (The Homecoming), and Tennessee Williams (Orpheus Descending).
- Brought Waiting For Godot to the stage in 1955, the play which transformed him into a theatrical sensation.
- Established the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford and London in 1960, running it for 15 years.
- Was awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 1963 and was knighted in 1977, for his theatre services.
- Directed the operas Cosi Fan Tutte in 1978 and Der Ring das Nibelungen in 1983.
- Has worked professionally with all his children, including co-directing a theatre production of Tantalus with Edward Hall in 2000.
- Was made a freeman of the City of London in 2010, an entitlement which began in 1237 and is bestowed on valued members of the community.
- Along with actor Benedict Cumberbatch, he protested against the cuts to arts funding at the Evening Standard theatre awards in London in 2010.