Roger Hall was born in England in 1939 and emigrated to New Zealand in 1958. He is New Zealand’s best known dramatist and has written more than forty plays, musicals and pantomimes and more than sixty sitcom episodes for television in New Zealand and the UK.
He worked as a teacher and editor with the education department before winning the Burns Fellowship at the University of Otago in 1977. Hall was based in Dunedin as teaching fellow in the English department where he taught the playwriting course, until he moved to Auckland in 1995.
His plays have been produced in many other countries, and he had Conjugal Rites produced as a sitcom in the UK. Perhaps his most well-known plays are Glide Time, which was made for television in New Zealand as Gliding On, and Middle Age Spread which was later made into a feature film. The stage production of Middle Age Spread went to the West End for 15 months and won the Comedy of the Year award from the Society of West End Theatres in 1979.
With Philip Norman and A.K. Grant he wrote the musicals Footrot Flats and Love off the Shelf. His most recent plays include Book Ends, Who Wants to be a 100? (Anyone Who's 99), Four Flat Whites in Italy (which had a highly successful run at The Ensemble, Sydney - and ran for eleven weeks at The Court), A Shortcut to Happiness, You Can Always Hand Them Back (with songs by Peter Skellern) and Last Legs. His memoir, Bums on Seats, was published in 1998, and he is supposed to be working on a follow-up volume.
Roger has been the recipient of many awards. In 2003 he was named Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services as a playwright, the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement (2015), and was made a Knight (KNZM) for services to theatre in 2019.