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Peter Brook

Peter Brook

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Lord Of The Flies: Essential Art House... This 1963 adaptation, directed by Peter Brook ("King Lear"), tells the story of... more info $19.95was $19.95 Buy Now

The Beggar's Opera DVD A colorful period tale finds Sir Laurence Olivier ("Rebecca," "Hamlet") as an... more info $17.99was $17.99 Buy Now



Also Known As: Peter Stephen Paul Brook, Sir Peter Brook Died:
Born: March 21, 1925 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession: director, screenwriter, stage designer, producer, playwright, composer, author, editor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

The provocative productions of this renowned director (once described as a "traditionalist on the cutting edge") have been critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic and include such landmark work as 1966's "Marat/Sade", a 1970 staging of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and his adaptation of "The Mahabarata" The son of a Russian Jewish immigrant, Peter Brook began his career with an amateur feature-length film, "The Sentimental Journey" in 1943 and went on to craft training films for the British Army in the last years of WWII. His first professional assignment as a screen director came with an energetic adaptation of "The Beggar's Opera" (1953), starring Laurence Olivier. He earned international acclaim with the 1963 adaptation of William Golding's "Lord of the Flies", about British schoolboys on a deserted island. Brook directed, adapted and edited this black-and-white film that played into his reputation for dealing thematically with story. He was less successful with the 1971 filming of "King Lear", starring Paul Scofield, which took two years to find a distributor. Brook wrote and directed "Meetings With Remarkable Men" (1979), based on the memoirs of G I Gurdjieff and also filmed his...

The provocative productions of this renowned director (once described as a "traditionalist on the cutting edge") have been critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic and include such landmark work as 1966's "Marat/Sade", a 1970 staging of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and his adaptation of "The Mahabarata" The son of a Russian Jewish immigrant, Peter Brook began his career with an amateur feature-length film, "The Sentimental Journey" in 1943 and went on to craft training films for the British Army in the last years of WWII. His first professional assignment as a screen director came with an energetic adaptation of "The Beggar's Opera" (1953), starring Laurence Olivier. He earned international acclaim with the 1963 adaptation of William Golding's "Lord of the Flies", about British schoolboys on a deserted island. Brook directed, adapted and edited this black-and-white film that played into his reputation for dealing thematically with story. He was less successful with the 1971 filming of "King Lear", starring Paul Scofield, which took two years to find a distributor. Brook wrote and directed "Meetings With Remarkable Men" (1979), based on the memoirs of G I Gurdjieff and also filmed his condensed, highly theatrical adaptation of Bizet's opera "La Tragedie de Carmen" (1983).

Whatever the reaction to his sporadic films, Brook is best known for his experimental theatrical productions wherein he has explored the relationship between the audience and the stage performance, through the conveyance of realism and the inner truth of the piece. Early in his career, Brook was director of productions for the Royal Opera House, and from 1962, co-director of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. In 1970, he moved to France and co-founded the International Center for Theatre Research, an entity dedicated to experiment with the medium. Among his many memorable productions were "Faust", for NYC's Metropolitan Opera Company in 1953; a 1955 "Hamlet" staged in Moscow; the musical "Irma La Douce" produced both in London and New York; "Marat/Sade" (1964); and "The Cherry Orchard" in Paris (1981) and New York (1988). More recently, he co-adapted and staged an acclaimed version of "The Mahabarata" (1989) which was released theatrically and later shown on PBS.

Brook is also a well-received author, penning a seminal study of theater, "The Empty Space", in 1968 and two memoirs, "The Shifting Point" (1988) and "Threads of Time" (1997).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Mahabharata, The (1989) Director
2.
  Tragedie de Carmen, La (1983) Director
3.
4.
  King Lear (1971) Director
5.
  Tell Me Lies (1968) Director
7.
  Moderato cantabile (1964) Director
8.
  Lord of the Flies (1963) Director
9.
  The Beggar's Opera (1953) Director

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1943:
Made amateur feature-length film "A Sentimental Journey"
1943:
Stage directing debut with "Dr. Faustus" at the Torch Theatre in London
1944:
Made instructional shorts for the British Army
:
Served as director of productions, Covent Garden
1949:
Wrote first teleplay, "Box for One" (BBC)
1953:
Feature directing debut, "The Beggar's Opera"
1955:
Composed stage score for "Titus Andronicus"
1962:
Became director of the Royal Shakespeare Company
1963:
Directed, wrote and edited heralded version of "Lord of the Flies"
1966:
Filmed his acclaimed stage version of "Marat/Sade"
1967:
Made short film, "Ride of the Valkyrie"
1968:
Wrote "The Empty Space", a history of theater
1970:
Founded International Center of Theater Research in Paris, France
:
Had international hit with unique staging of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
1971:
Directed screen version of "King Lear" starring Paul Scofield
1979:
Wrote and directed "Meetings With Remarkable Men"
1983:
Filmed acclaimed stage production, "La Tragedie de Carmen"
1984:
Scripted "Swann in Love", adapted from Proust's "A la recherche du temps perdu"
1988:
Published first autobiography, "The Shifting Point"
1989:
Adapted and directed "The Mahabharta"; later filmed
1996:
Appeared in Al Pacino's documentary "Looking for Richard"
1997:
Published second memoir, "Threads of Time: Recollections"
2001:
Staged "The Tragedy of Hamlet", starring Adrian Lester
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Westminster School: London , England -
Gresham's School: -
Magdalen College, Oxford University: Oxford , England - 1944

Notes

Awarded the first Wexner Prize from the Wexner Center for the Arts at the Ohio State University (1992).

"British films are financed and planned and controlled in such a way that everything goes into this crippling concept of screenplay. And a breakthrough can only come about thoroughly and satisfactorily if the working conditions can be freed, so that smaller crews and lower budgets give people the opportunity to take more time, and go back on their tracks if necessary, without anyone worrying them." --Peter Brook

"I am ready to disclaim my opinion, even of yesterday, even of 10 minutes ago, because all opinions are relative. One lives in a field of influences, one is influenced by everyone one meets, everything is an exchange of influences, all opinions are derivative. Once you deal a new deck of cards, you've got a new deck of cards." --Brook quoted in The New York Times, June 28, 1998.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Natasha Parry. Actor. Married on November 11, 1951.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Simon Brook. Chemist; doctor. Russian Jew; changed family name to Brook.
mother:
Ida Brook. Scientist.
brother:
Alexis Brook. Psychiatrist.
daughter:
Irina Brook. Actor. Born in 1963.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Empty Space" Atheneum
"The Shifting Point" Bessie Books
"Le Diable c'est L'Ennui" Acte Sud
"Forty Years of Theatrical Explorations, 1946-87"
"Threads of Time: Recollections" Methuen
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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