Peter Brook

BIOGRAPHY

"I have never believed in one single truth, whether it is mine or somebody else’s. I think that all schools and all theories can be useful in particular places and at given times. But I think that the only way to live is to passionately, and absolutely, commit ourselves to one point of view.

In any case, as time goes by, and as we change, objectives vary and the point of view moves around. When I think of essays I have written and the ideas which have come to life in numerous places, something strikes me : there is a certain continuity. For a point of view to have any useful purpose, you have to be completely committed to it and defend it to the death. And this even when a little voice is murmurng inside you at the same time "hold on tightly, let go lightly".

Extract from Peter Brook’s book "The Shifting Point", Seuil Editions

official website : www.newspeterbrook.com

Peter Brook © Colm Hogan

Peter Brook was born in London in 1925 and has acheived distinction throughout his career in various disciplines : theatre, opera and literature.

He has directed numerous Shakespeare plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company : Love’s Labours Lost (1946), Measure for Measure (1950), Titus Andronicus (1955), King Leare (1962), Marat/Sade (1964), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1970) and Antony and Cleopatra (1978).

In Paris en 1971, Peter Brook founded the International Centre for Theatre Research with Micheline Rozan, which later became the International Centre for Creative Theatre once the Bouffes du Nord opened.

Its productions are noteworthy as regards their iconoclastic nature and their international scope : Timon of Athens (1974), The Ik (1975), Ubu at the Bouffes (1977), The Conference of the birds (1979), The Bone (1979), The Cherry Orchard (1989), The Mahabharata (1985), Woza Albert ! (1989), The Tempest (1990), The Man Who (1993), Who is there (1995), Oh ! Happy Days (1995), Je suis un Phénomène (1998), The Suit (1999), The Tragedy of Hamlet (2000), Far Away (2002), The Death of Krishna (2002), Your hand in mine (2003), Tierno Bokar (2004), The Grand Inquisitor (2005), Sizwe Banzi is dead (2006), Fragments - five short texts by Samuel Beckett (2007) and Warum Warum, a theatrical study on Antonin Artaud, Gordon Craig, Charles Dullin, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Zeami Motokiyo and William Shakespeare (2008). More recently, Peter Brook has adapted a selection of Shakespeare’s sonnets under the name of Love is my sin (2009).

He has directed several operas: La Bohème (1948), Boris Godounov (1948), The Olympiade (1949), Salome (1949) and The Marriage of Figaro (1949) at Covent Garden theatre in London, Faust (1953), Eugene Onegin (1957) at the New York Metropolitan, The Tragedy of Carmen (1981) et Impressions of Pelleas (1992) at the Bouffes du Nord and Don Giovanni (1998) Aix-en-Provence festival.

His main books are The Empty Space (1968), The Shifting Point (1987), Le Diable c’est l’Ennui (1991), Evoking Shakespeare (1998), Threads of Time (2003) and With Grotowski (2009). Peter Brook also directed Moderato Cantabile (1959), The Lord of the Flies (1963), Marat/Sade (1967), Le Roi Lear (1969), Meetings with Remarkable Men (1976) and The Mahabharata (1989).

Peter Brook © Colm Hogan

Theater

2013

The Valley of Astonishment, Written and directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne. Lights, Philippe Vialatte. With Kathryn Hunter, Marcello Magni et Jared McNeill. Musicians, Raphaël Chambouvet and Toshi Tsuchitori.

2012

The Suit, by Can Themba, Mothobi Mutloatse and Barney Simon. Direction, adaptation and musical direction by Peter Brook, Marie-Hélène Estienne and Franck Krawczyk. Lighting by Philippe Vialatte. Costumes by Oria Puppo.

2010

A Magic Flute, after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Freely adapted by Peter Brook, Franck Krawczyk and Marie-Hélène Estienne. Directed by Peter Brook. Lighting by Philippe Vialatte.

Warum Warum, Text by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne. Based on the texts of Artaud, Gordon Craig, Dullin, Meyerhold, Motokiyo and William Shakespeare. Staged by Peter Brook. Lighting : Philippe Vialatte. Music : Francesco Agnello. With Miriam Goldschmidt, Francesco Agnello.

2009

Eleven and Twelve, based on the book by Amadou Hampaté Bâ. Adaptation : Marie-Hélène Estienne and Peter Brook. Music : Toshi Tsuchitori. Lighting : Philippe Vialatte. With Makram J. Khoury, Nyasha Hatendi, Tunji Lucas, Abdou Ouologuem, Jared McNeil, Khalifa Natour, César Sarachu and Maximilien Seweryn.

William Shakespeare’s Love is my sin. Staged by : Peter Brook. Lighting : Philippe Vialatte. With Natasha Parry and Bruce Myers.

2008

Samuel Beckett’s Fragments. Staged by : Peter Brook. In collaboration with : Lilo Baur, Marie-Hélène Estienne. Lighting : Philippe Vialatte. With Jos Houben, Marcello Magni and Kathryn Hunter.

2007

Sizwe Banzi is dead, by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona.

French adaptation : Marie-Hélène Estienne
Directed by : Peter Brook


Lighting : Philippe Vialatte

With Habib Dembélé and Pitcho Womba Konga.

2006

The Grand Inquisitor, (in English).

2005

The Grand Inquisitor, after Dostoïevski’s The Brothers Karamazov. With Maurice Bénichou and Ken Higelin.

2004

Tierno Bokar, after Vie et enseignement by Tierno Bokar de Amadou Hampaté Bâ.

The Grand Inquisitor, after Dostoïevski’s The Brothers Karamazov.

2003

Your hand in mine, by Carol Rocamora.
Glüchliche Tage (Oh Happy Days by S. Beckett). Kaserne Basel, Suisse.

2002

The Death of Krishna, extract from Vyasa’s Mahabharata de Vyasa. With Maurice Bénichou.

The Tragedy of Hamlet (in French), based on W. Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Far Away, by Caryl Churchill.

2000

The Tragedy of Hamlet (in English), based on W. Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

1999

The Suit, by Can Themba.

The Suit © Colm Hogan

1998

Je suis un phénomène based on Alexander Luria’s Mind of a Mnemonists

1997

L'Homme qui, a remake of Oliver Sacks «The Man Who».

1995

Who is there, based in the texts of Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht, Gordon Craig, Meyerhold, Stanislavski and Seami.
Samuel Beckett’s Oh Happy Days, de Samuel Beckett. Coproduced by Vidy ETE - Lausanne.

1993

The Man who, based on "The man who mistook hos wife for a hat» by Oliver Sacks.

1990

W. Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

1989

Woza Albert ! by Percy Mtawa, Mbongeni Ngema and Barney Simon.

1988

A. Tchekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. de A. Tchekhov. Majestic Theatre, Brooklyn.

1985

The Mahabharata. Written at the 39th Avignon Festival.

The Mahabharata © Julio Donoso/PR

1984

Tchin Tchin («Cheers»), by F. Billetdoux. Montparnasse Theatre, Paris.

1981

The Cherry Orchard, by A. Tchekhov.

1979

The Conference of the Birds, after F. Uddin Attar.
The Bone, by B. Diop.

1978

Mesure for Mesure, by W. Shakespeare. Bouffes du Nord, Paris.
Antony and Cleopatra, by W.Shakespeare. Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon. With Paola Dionisotti, Alan Howard, Glenda Jackson, Jonathan Pryce and Patrick Stewart. Coproduced with the Festival d'Automne (the Autumn Festival).

1977

Ubu at the Bouffes, after Alfred Jarry. Bouffes du Nord, Paris.

1975

The Iks, by Colin Turnbull. Bouffes du Nord, Paris.
Timon of Athens, by W. Shakespeare, Bouffes du Nord, Paris.

1973

Voyage to the USA

1972

Travelling in Afrique
A Midsummer Night's Dream. New York New York and world tour.

1971

Orghast, by Ted Hughes. Persepolis Festival, Iran.

1970

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by W. Shakespeare. Stratford upon Avon.
Frances de la Tour. With Alan Howard, John Kane,Sarah Kestelman and Ben Kingsley.

1968

Oedipus, by Sénèque. National Theatre, London.
The Tempest, by W. Shakespeare. RST, Aldwych Theatre, London. Avec Robert Langton Lloyd, Yoshi Ouida and Natasha Parry.

1966

US. RST, Aldwych Theatre, London, with Glenda Jackson, Robert Langton Lloyd, Clifford Rose and Michael Williams.

1965

The Investigation, by Peter Weiss. RSC, Aldwych Theatre, London and New York.

1964

Marat-Sade, by P. Weiss. RST, Aldwych Theatre, London, New York. With Glenda Jackson, Robert Langton Lloyd, Patrick Magee, Ian Richardson and Michael Williams.
The Screens, by Jean Genet. Donmar Theatre, London.

1963

Sergent Musgrave’s Dance, by J. Arden. Athénée Theatre, Paris.
The Physicists, by Friedrich Durrenmatt. RST, Aldwych Theatre, London.
The Deputy, de R. Hochhuth. Athénée Theatre, Paris.

1962

King Lear, by W. Shakespeare. Stratford upon Avon, London and New York. With Alec McCowen, Ian Richardson, Diana Rigg, Paul Scofield and Irene Worth.

1960
The Balcony, by Jean Genet. Théâtre du Gymnase, Paris.

1959

Irma la Douce, musical. Lyric Theatre, London.
The Fighting Cock, by Jean Anouilh. New York. Rex Harrison and Natasha Parry.

1958

View from the Bridge, by Arthur Miller. Antoine Theatre, Paris.
The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt. New York and London.

1957

The Tempest, by W. Shakespeare. Stratford upon Avon. John Gielgud.
Both Ends Meet. Apollo Theatre, London.

1956

A View from the Bridge, by Arthur Miller. Comedy Theatre, London.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, by Tennessee Williams. Antoine Theatre, Paris. With Jeanne Moreau.
The Power and the Glory, after Graham Greene. Phoenix Theatre, London. With Paul Scofield.
The Family Reunion, by T. S. Eliot. Phoenix Theatre, London. With Gwen Frangcon-Davies and Paul Scofield.

1955

The Lark by Jean Anouilh. Lyric, London. With Dorothy Tutin.
Titus Andronicus, by W. Shakespeare. Stratford upon Avon. With Vivien Leigh, Sir Laurence Olivier and Anthony Quayle.
Hamlet, by W. Shakespeare. Phoenix Theatre, London, Moscow Arts Theatre, Moscow. With Alec Clunes, Paul Scofield and Mary Ure.

Pierre Vauthey © Corbis Sygma

1954

The Dark is Light Enough, by Christopher Fry.  Aldwych Theatre, London. With Edith Evans.
House of Flowers, by Truman Capote. Music by Harold Arlen. New York. With Pearl Bailey.

1953

Venice Preserved, by Thomas Otway. Lyric Theatre, London. With John Gielgud and Paul Scofield.

1952

Colombe, by Jean Anouilh. New Theatre, London.

1951

Death of a Salesman, National Theatre, Brussells. With Yvonne Arnaud, Joyce Redman.
Penny for a Song, by John Whiting.
Penny for a Song, by John Whiting. Haymarket Theatre, London. With Virginia McKenna and Alan Webb.
A Winter’s Tale, by W. Shakeapeare. Phoenix Theatre, Londres. With John Gielgud and Flora Robson.

1950

Ring Round the Moon, by Jean Anouilh. Globe Theatre, London. With Claire Bloom, Paul Scofield and Margaret Rutherford.
Measure for Measure, by W. Shakespeare. Stratford-upon-Avon. With John Gielgud, and Barbara Jeffor.
The Little Hut, by A. Roussin. Lyric Theatre, London. With Robert Morley and Joan Tetzel.

1949

Dark of the Moon, by Howard Richardson and William Berney. Ambassador’s Theatre, London. With William Sylvester and Sheila Burrell.

1947

Romeo et Juliette, by W. Shakespeare. Stratford upon Avon. With Paul Scofield.
The Respectful P...., by Jean-Paul Sartre. Lyric Theatre, London.

1946

Love’s Labour’s Lost, by W. Shakespeare. Stratford upon Avon. With Paul Scofield.
Les frères Karamazov, by Dostoevsky, adaptated by A. Guinness. Lyric Theatre, London.
The Vicious Circle, by Jean-Paul Sartre. Arts Theatre, London. With Alec Guinness.

1945

Man and Superman, by B. Shaw.
King John, by W. Shakespeare, with Paul Scofield and Denis Quilley.
The Lady from the Sea, by H. Ibsen with Paul Scofield. Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
The Infernal Machine, by Jean Cocteau. Chanticleer Theatre Club, London.

1943

Dr. Faustus, by C. Marlowe at the Torch Theatre, London.

Cinema

2002

The tragedy of Hamlet (TV film), 35mm - Colour - 132mn. With Adrian Lester, Natasha Parry, Bruce Meyers and Shantala Shivalingappa.

1996

Times Flies, documentary on The Lord of the Flies. BBC films.

1989

The Mahabharata, 35mm - Couleur- 2h51mn. Screenplay by Peter Brook and Jean-Claude Carrière. With Georges Corraface (DURYODHANA), Andrzej Seweryn (YUDHISHTIRA), Sotigui Kouyate (BHISHMA / PARASHURAMA), Vittorio Mezzogiorno (ARJUNA), Bruce Myers (GANESHA / KRISHNA), Yoshi Oida (DRONA / KICHAKA), and Robert Langdon Lloyd (Vyasa).

1983
The Tragedy of Carmen, 3 versions based in the novella by Prosper Mérimée. Music by Georges Bizet. Screenplay by Peter Brook, Jean-Claude Carrière and Marius Constant. With Hélène Delavault (Carmen, 1st film), Zehava Gal (Carmen, 2nd film), Eva Saurova (Carmen, 3rd film), Howard Hensel (Don José, 1st film), Laurence Dale (Don José, 2nd film).

1976-1977

Meetings with Remarkable Men, 35mm - Colour- 108mn. Screenplay by Jeanne de Salzmann and Peter Brook. Music by Thomas de Hartmann and Laurence Rosenthal. With Dragan Maksimovic, Terence Stamp, Mikica Dimitrijevic, Athol Fugard, Gerry Sundquist, Warren Mitchell, Bruce Myers, Donald Sumpter, Natasha Parry, Tom Fleming, Colin Blakeley and Sami Tahasuni.

1969

King Lear, 35mm - Black and White - 131 mn. With Cyril Cusack (Albany), Susan Engel (Regan), Tom Fleming (Kent), Anne-Lise Gabold (Cordelia), Ian Hogg (Edmund), Søren Elung Jensen (Duke of Burgundy), Robert Langdon Lloyd (Edgar), Jack MacGowran (Fool), Patrick Magee (Cornwall), Paul Scofield (King Lear), Barry Stanton (Oswald), Alan Webb (Gloucester) and Irene Worth (Goneril).

1967

Marat-Sade, 35mm - Colour - 120 mn. De Peter Weiss. Screenplay by Adrian Mitchell and Peter Brook. With Patrick Magee (Marquis de Sade), Ian Richardson (Jean-Paul Marat), Michael Williams (Herald), Clifford Rose (Monsieur Coulmier),Glenda Jackson (Charlotte Corday), Freddie Jones (Cucurucu), Hugh Sullivan (Kokol), John Hussey (Newly Rich Lady), William Morgan Sheppard (A Mad Animal), Jonathan Burn (Polpoch), Jeanette Landis (Rossignol), Robert Langdon Lloyd (Jacques Roux), John Steiner (Monsieur Dupere), James Mellor (Schoolmaster), Henry Woolf (Father), John Harwood (Voltaire), Leon Lissek (Lavoisier), Susan Williamson (Simone Evrard), Carol Raymont (Patient), Mary Allen (Patient), Brenda Kempner (Madame Coulmier), Mark Jones (Mother), Maroussia Frank (Patient), Tamara Fuerst (Patient), Sheila Grant (Patient), Lynn Pinkney (Patient), Ian Hogg (Military Representative), Ruth Baker (Mademoiselle Coulmier) Michael Farnsworth (Patient), Guy Gordon (Patient), Michael Percival (Patient), Heather Canning (Nun) and Jennifer Tudor (Nun).

Tell me Lies, 35mm - Colour and N&B - 118mn. With Mark Jones (Mark), Pauline Munro (Pauline), Eric Allan (Guest), Robert Langdon Lloyd (Bob), Mary Allen, Ian Hogg (Guest), Glenda Jackson (Guest), Joanne Lindsay (Guest), Hugh Sullivan (Guest), Kingsley Amis (Guest), Peggy Ashcroft, James Cameron (Guest), Stokely Carmichael (Guest), Tom Driberg (Guest) and Paul Scofield.

1963

The Lord of the Flies, based on the book by William Golding, 35mm - Black and White - 91 mn. With James Aubrey (Ralph), Tom Chapin (Jack), Hugh Edwards (Piggy), Tom Gaman (Simon), David Surtees (Sam), Simon Surtees (Eric), and Roger Elwin (Roger).

1959

Moderato Cantabile, based on the book by Marguerite Duras, 35mm - Black and White - 92 mn. With Jeanne Moreau, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Didier Haudepin, Pascale de Boysson and Jean Deschamps.

1953

The Beggar’s Opera, 35mm - Colour- 94mn. Screenplay by Christopher Fry, Denis Cannan and John Gay. Music by Arthur Bliss. With Laurence Olivier (Captain MacHeath), Hugh Griffith (The Beggar), George Rose (1st Turnkey), Stuart Burge (1st Prisoner), Cyril Conway (2nd Prisoner), Gerald Lawson (3rd Prisoner), Amanda Harley (Young Female Traveller), Dorothy Tutin (Polly Peachum), George Devine (Peachum), Mary Clare (Mrs. Peachum), Edward Pryor (Filch), Athene Seyler (Mrs. Trapes), Stanley Holloway (Mr. Lockit), Daphne Anderson (Lucy Lockit), Eric Pohlmann (Inn Keeper), Yvonne Furneaux (Jenny Diver) and Kenneth Williams.

1944

A Sentimental Journey.

Opera

2010

A Magic Flute, adapted from Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Bouffes du Nord Theatre, Paris.

A Magic Flute © Pascal Victor

1998

Don Giovanni, by Mozart. Produced at the 50th International Lyrical Art Festival, Aix-en-Provence.

1992

Impressions of Pelleas, by Debussy.

1981-1983

The Tragedy of Carmen, by Bizet. Vivian Beaumont Theatre, Lincoln Centre, New York.

1957

Eugene Oneguin, by P.I Tchaikowsky. Metropolitan Opera, New York.

1953

Faust, by C. Gounod. Metropolitan Opera, New York.

1949

The Marriage of Figaro, by Mozart. Covent Garden, London.
Salome, by R. Strauss. Covent Garden, London.
The Olympians, by A. Bliss. Covent Garden, London.

1948

Boris Godounov, by Moussorgsky. Covent Garden, London.
La Bohême, by Puccini. Covent Garden, London.

Bibliography

Je suis un phénomène
The Shifting Point
Threads of Time

2009

With Grotowski by Peter Brook and Georges Banu, Actes Sud Editions.

2007

Climat de confiance, L'Instant même.

2006

Between two silences by Peter Brook et Marie-Hélène Estienne, Southern Methodist University Press.

2004

The Shifting Point, Harper and Row, New York.

2003

Threads of Time (autobiography), Counterpoint, Washingon DC.

1999

Evoking Shakespear (four interviews with Peter Brook), Nick Hern Books, London.

1991

Le Diable, c'est l'ennui discussions on the theatre, with Jean-Gabriel Carasso and Jean-Claude Lallias, Éditions Actes Sud-Papiers.

1998

The Man who followed by Je suis un phénomène by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne, Actes Sud-Papiers Editions.

1977

The Empty Spac, Seuil Editions.

 

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