Brook, Peter

Brook, Peter

▪ English producer-director
in full  Peter Stephen Paul Brook 
born March 21, 1925, London, England

      English producer-director of Shakespeare's plays whose daring productions of other dramatists' works contributed significantly to the development of the 20th century's avant-garde stage.

      Attaining at an early age the status of one of the foremost British directors, Brook directed his first Shakespeare play, King John, in 1945 for the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. He also introduced to England the avant-garde plays of Jean Cocteau (The Infernal Machine, performed 1945) and of Jean-Paul Sartre (Vicious Circle [No Exit], performed 1946; The Respectable Prostitute and Men Without Shadows, both performed 1947). In 1948 and 1949, for the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in London, he directed several productions, notably Richard Strauss's Salome. Thereafter he continued to present Shakespeare's plays, always with a fresh and inventive approach, as well as those of many contemporary playwrights. These included Measure for Measure (1950), The Winter's Tale (1951), Titus Andronicus (1955), Hamlet (1955), The Tempest (1957), and King Lear (1962). Toward the end of that period, he also began to examine the theatre of provocation, and, influenced by Antonin Artaud's tenets of the Theatre of Cruelty (Cruelty, Theatre of), he produced Jean Genet's Le Balcon (produced 1960, in Paris; The Balcony) and The Screens (1964), as well as Peter Weiss's sensational play Marat/Sade (1964), as it is commonly called, the unconventional style and staging of which shocked the theatre world and won Brook international fame. He gained further renown by directing a 1967 film version of the play.

      The following year Brook directed Seneca's Oedipus and published The Empty Space, which put forth his ideas on theatre. One of these, the belief that the director is a play's chief creative force, influenced him to adopt some of the innovative techniques advocated by the experimental Polish director Jerzy Grotowski (Grotowski, Jerzy) and the American director Julian Beck, cofounder of The Living Theatre (Living Theatre, The). In search of freedom to pursue less commercial aspects of theatre, he moved in 1970 to Paris, where he established the International Centre of Theatre Research. There he worked with associates at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord to answer some essential questions about the nature of theatre and to attempt to determine an interdisciplinary, “intercultural” language of theatre.

      Among his later theatrical productions, which were mostly performed in Paris, are Peter Handke's Kaspar (1972); Timon of Athens (1974); Ubu aux Bouffes (1977; “Ubu with Bouffes [the theatre company]”), an adaptation of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi (“King Ubu”); Antony and Cleopatra (1978); Woza Albert! (1989); and The Tempest (1990). Brook also wrote and directed such films as The Lord of the Flies (1963), King Lear (1971), Meetings with Remarkable Men (1979), Swann in Love (1984), and The Mahabharata (1989), based on the ancient Indian epic of the same name. In two books, The Shifting Point: Forty Years of Theatrical Exploration, 1946–1987 (1987) and The Open Door (1993), Brook extended his continuing reflections on aspects of the theatre. He was made a Companion of Honour (Companions of Honour, Order of the) in 1998. That same year he published a memoir, Threads of Time. In 2002 Brook directed a BBC television production of Hamlet.

Additional Reading
Biographies include J.C. Trewin, Peter Brook (1971); and Michael Kustow, Peter Brook (2005). Among the many works that examine Brook's oeuvre and methodology are Edward Trostle Jones, Following Directions: A Study of Peter Brook (1985); Peter Brook and David Williams, Peter Brook: A Theatrical Casebook (1988); John Heilpern, Conference of the Birds: The Story of Peter Brook in Africa, rev. ed. (1989, reissued 1999); and Albert Hunt and Geoffrey Reeves, Peter Brook (1995). Also useful is Margaret Croyden, Conversations with Peter Brook, 1970–2000 (2003).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • BROOK, PETER STEPHEN PAUL — (1925– ), British theater producer, director, and filmmaker. Born to Russian Jewish immigrants in London, by his early twenties Brook became famous for his avant garde productions of the plays of such writers as Jean Paul Sartre and, especially,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Brook, Peter — ► (n. 1925) Director escénico y cineasta británico. Trabajos cinematográficos: Moderato cantabile (1960), El señor de las moscas (1962). Adquirió fama internacional con la obra de Peter Weiss Marat Sade (1965). En los setenta vive dedicado a la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Brook, Peter — • БРУК Питер (р. 21.3.1925)    англ. режиссёр. С 1944 ставил к/м ф., в 1953 пост, п/м ф. Опера нищих . Работал в разл. т рах, в т. ч. в Королев, шекспировском т ре в Стратфорде он Эйвон. В 1960 пост. ф. Модерато кантабиле (по М. Дюра, Франция), в …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Brook — Brook, Peter …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Peter Brook — Peter Brook, CH, CBE (* 21. März 1925 in London) ist ein englischer Theaterregisseur, der zu den wichtigsten Vertretern des zeitgenössischen europäischen Theaters gezählt wird. Berühmt sind seine Vorträge über modernes Theater, als Buch… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • BROOK (P.) — BROOK PETER (1925 ) Peter Brook est né à Londres le 21 mars 1925. Metteur en scène depuis l’âge de dix sept ans, il a monté ses premiers spectacles professionnels à Birmingham puis Stratford sur Avon et Londres, avant d’accéder à une carrière… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Peter's Brook — is a small creek that flows south through central New Jersey and flows into the Raritan River. It runs through, although not limited to, Bridgewater Township, New Jersey and Somerville, New Jersey.It is notable for having high phosphate levels… …   Wikipedia

  • brook — [ bruk ] n. m. • 1846; mot angl. « ruisseau » ♦ Anglic. Fossé rempli d eau constituant un des obstacles d un parcours de steeple chase. ● brook nom masculin (anglais brook, ruisseau) Large fossé plein d eau, l un des principaux obstacles du… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Peter Brook — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Brook. Peter Brook Peter B …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Peter Brook — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Peter Stephen Paul Brook (Londres, 21 de marzo de 1925) es un reconocido director de teatro, películas y ópera. Es uno de los directores más deslumbrantes e influyentes del teatro contemporáneo. Contenido 1… …   Wikipedia Español

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