The Empty Space
About the book
Adapted from a series of four lectures, originally delivered as the first of the Granada Northern Lectures Peter Brook's The Empty Space is an exploration of four aspects of theatre, 'Deadly, Holy, Rough and Immediate', published in Penguin Modern Classics. 'I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage' In The Empty Space, groundbreaking director Peter Brook draws on a life in love with the stage to explore the issues facing any theatrical performance. Here he describes important developments in theatre from the last century, as well as smaller scale events, from productions by Stanislavsky to the rise of Method Acting, from Brecht's revolutionary alienation technique to the free form Happenings of the 1960s, and from the different styles of such great Shakespearean actors as John Gielgud and Paul Scofield to a joyous impromptu performance in the burnt-out shell of the Hamburg Opera just after the war. Passionate, unconventional and fascinating, his book shows how theatre defies rules, builds and shatters illusions and creates lasting memories for its audiences. Peter Stephen Paul Brook CH CBE (b. 1925) is a highly influential British theatrical producer and director. During the 1950s he worked on many productions in Britain, Europe, and the USA, and in 1962 returned to Stratford-upon-Avon to join the newly established Royal Shakespeare Company. Throughout the next the 1960's he directed many ground breaking productions for the RSC before in 1970 forming The International Centre for Theatre Research in Paris. If you enjoyed The Empty Space, you might like John Berger's Ways of Seeing, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'A brilliant book ... should be read by the many besides the passionate few to whom it will be required reading' Daily Telegraph
Peter Brook Biography
Peter Stephen Paul Brook (21 March 1925 – 2 July 2022) was an English theatre and film director. He worked first in England, from 1945 at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, from 1947 at the Royal Opera House, and from 1962 for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). With them, he directed the first English-language production in 1964 of Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss, which was transferred to Broadway in 1965 and won the Tony Award for Best Play, and Brook was named Best Director. He also directed films such as an iconic version of Lord of the Flies in 1963. He was based in France from the early 1970s on, where he founded an international theatre company, playing in developing countries, in an approach of great simplicity. He was often referred to as "our greatest living theatre director". He won multiple Emmy Awards, a Laurence Olivier Award, the Japanese Praemium Imperiale, and the Prix Italia. In 2021, he was awarded India's Padma Shri.
Early lifeBrook was born on 21 March 1925 in the Bedford Park area of Chiswick, the second son of Simon Brook and his wife Ida (Judelson), both Lithuanian Jewish immigrants from Latvia. The family home was at 27 Fairfax Road, Turnham Green. His elder brother Alexis became a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. His first cousin was Valentin Pluchek, chief director of the Moscow Satire Theatre. Brook was educated at Westminster School, Gresham's School, and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied languages until 1945. Brook was excused from military service during World War II due to childhood illness.
EnglandBrook directed Marlowe's Dr Faustus, his first production, in 1943 at the Torch Theatre in London, followed at the Chanticleer Theatre in 1945 with a revival of Cocteau's The Infernal Machine. He was engaged from 1945 as stage director at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (BRT). Hired by BRT direct Barry Jackson when he was just twenty years old, Jackson described Brook as "the youngest earthquake I've known".In 1947, Brook went to Stratford-upon-Avon as assistant director on Romeo and Juliet and Love's Labour's Lost for the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre. From 1947 to 1950, he was Director of Productions at the Royal Opera House in London. His work there included an effective re-staging of Puccini's La bohème using sets dating from 1899, in 1948, and a highly controversial staging of Salome by Richard Strauss with sets by Salvador Dalí in 1949. A proliferation of stage and screen work as producer and director followed. Howard Richardson's Dark of the Moon at the Ambassadors Theatre, London, in 1949 was an early, much admired production. From 1962, he was director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), together with Peter Hall. With them, he directed the first English-language production in 1964 of Marat/Sade by the German playwright Peter Weiss. It transferred to Broadway in 1965 and won the Tony Award for Best Play, and Brook was named Best Director. In 1966, they presented ... Read full biography
|Publisher:||Penguin Books Ltd|
|Languages:||| English ||
|Publication date:||Oct. 6, 2015|
|First Publication Date:||None|
|Publication City/Country:||London, United Kingdom|