25 Facts About Peter Brook


Peter Stephen Paul Brook was an English theatre and film director.


Peter Brook 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.


Peter Brook directed films such as an iconic version of Lord of the Flies in 1963.


Peter Brook was based in France from the early 1970s, where he founded an international theatre company, playing in developing countries, in an approach of great simplicity.


Peter Brook was often referred to as "our greatest living theatre director".


Peter Brook won multiple Emmy Awards, a Laurence Olivier Award, the Japanese Praemium Imperiale, the Prix Italia and the Europe Theatre Prize.


Peter Brook was educated at Westminster School, Gresham's School, and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied languages until 1945.


Peter Brook was excused from military service during World War II due to childhood illness.


Peter Brook 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.


Peter Brook was engaged from 1945 as stage director at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.


In 1947, Peter Brook went to Stratford-upon-Avon as assistant director on Romeo and Juliet and Love's Labour's Lost for the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.


Peter Brook was influenced by the work of Antonin Artaud and his ideas for his Theatre of Cruelty.


Peter Brook described her as "the most galvanising director in mid-20th century Britain".


Peter Brook collaborated with actors Paul Scofield as Lear, John Gielgud in Measure for Measure, and Glenda Jackson; designers Georges Wakhevitch and Sally Jacobs; and writers Ted Hughes and William Golding.


Peter Brook first encountered Wakhevitch in London when he saw the production of Jean Cocteau's ballet Le Jeune Homme et la Mort which Wakhevitch designed.


Peter Brook declared that he "was convinced that this was the designer for whom I had been waiting".


In 1971, with Micheline Rozan, Peter Brook founded the International Centre for Theatre Research, a multinational company of actors, dancers, musicians and others, which travelled widely in the Middle East and Africa in the early 1970s.


In 2015, Peter Brook returned to the world of The Mahabharata with a new Young Vic production, Battlefield, in collaboration with Jean-Claude Carriere and Marie-Helene Estienne.


In 2005, Peter Brook directed Tierno Bokar, based on the life of the Malian sufi of the same name.


Sources for Peter Brook's productions are held by the Academy of Arts in Berlin, the Princess of Asturias Foundation, and others.


Peter Brook was fascinated with the works of Shakespeare which he produced in England and elsewhere, in films, and adaptation.


Peter Brook created a legendary version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, with designer Sally Jacobs, John Kane, Frances de la Tour, Ben Kingsley and Patrick Stewart in 1970.


Peter Brook directed the film King Lear, again with Scofield, in 1971.


Peter Brook kept producing works by Shakespeare for the Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, in French, including Timon d'Athenes, adaptated by Jean-Claude Carriere, 1974, Mesure pour mesure in 1978 and as a film a year later, La Tempete, adaptated by Carriere, with Sotigui Kouyate in 1990.


Peter Brook directed The Tragedy of Hamlet, with Adrian Lester, Jeffery Kissoon, Natasha Parry, Shantala Shivalingappa, Bruce Myers, Rohan Siva, Scott Handy and Yoshi Oida in 2000, followed by a TV film version in 2002.