Piter Brook

Piter Brook

English director
Date of Birth: 21.03.1925
Country: Great Britain

  1. Biography of Peter Brook
  2. The King Lear Production
  3. The Marat/Sade Production
  4. The Influence of Gurdjieff
  5. The Empty Space

Biography of Peter Brook

Peter Brook is an English theatrical, opera, and film director known for his innovative productions of classic plays, particularly those of Shakespeare, as well as his theatrical experiments. He was born on March 21, 1925, in London. After graduating from Oxford University in 1945, he became a director at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. He later worked with various companies, including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, and commercial theaters in London's West End. His productions of King Lear and A Midsummer Night's Dream gained particular fame.

The King Lear Production

In King Lear, Brook created a depiction of a desolate, inhumane universe under the influence of the existentialist ideas of Polish critic Jan Kott. He used dirty-gray canvases and panels of rusty copper color in the set design. In contrast, A Midsummer Night's Dream was a spectacle of acrobatics and somersaults performed by actors in vibrant costumes, with the use of stairs and trapezes.

The Marat/Sade Production

In 1963, Brook began experimenting with the principles of "Theatre of Cruelty" by Antonin Artaud, resulting in the famous production of Peter Weiss' play Marat/Sade, as well as his staging of Shakespeare's The Tempest. In 1970, Brook founded the International Centre for Theatre Research in Paris. Here, he created productions such as a shortened 80-minute version of the opera Carmen, devoid of choirs, and Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard.

The Influence of Gurdjieff

For many years, Brook was a follower of Russian mystic George Gurdjieff (1866-1949), whose influence can be felt in many of the Centre's productions, particularly in The Conference of the Birds, based on a 12th-century Persian poem. In 1984, the Centre debuted Brook's 11-hour production of the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata. Some of Brook's most well-known films include Lord of the Flies (1963; based on the novel by William Golding), Marat/Sade (1967), King Lear (1969), and Meetings with Remarkable Men (1979; based on Gurdjieff's autobiography).

The Empty Space

Brook articulated his understanding of theater and theatrical direction in his book The Empty Space (1968).