Peter Brook

Peter Brook : A Biography

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Born into a Russian emigre family in London, Peter Brook has been fascinated by theatre and film since childhood. After a turbulent time at Oxford, during which he narrowly avoided being sent down, he veered between directing West End comedy, new work from abroad by Anouilh, Sartre and Durrenmatt, musicals and opera at Covent Garden. By the 1960s he was moving towards greater experimentation, with controversial shows like Marat/Sade and the anti-Vietnam War US, films like Lord of the Flies and King Lear (starring Paul Scholfield), and landmark productions for the RSC, including the celebrated 'white box' Midsummer Night's Dream. Then in 1970, with the theatre worlds of London and New York at his feet, he moved to Paris, gathered round him an international group of actors, and set off - to Persia (with Ted Hughes), Africa, Mexico and the USA - in an attempt to discover a universial language of theatre. Returning to Paris, the fruits of this work tumbled out onto the stage at his Theatre des Bouffes du Nord in a series of groundbreaking shows including The Ik and The Conference of the Birds and his epic production of The Mahabarata. Since then, Brook has continued to push back the boundaries of theatre and film. Drawing on extensive interviews with Peter Brook, and many of his actors, writers, producers and fellow directors, Michael Kustow goes to the heart of Brook's work, his self-searching nature, and his unceasing desire to create productions that redefine theatre and more

Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 153 x 234mm | 725g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrations, ports.
  • 0747576467
  • 9780747576464
  • 1,773,370

Review quote

'Michael Kustow's absorbing biography of Peter Brook illuminates the life and creative achievements of one of the greatest and most influential stage directors in theatre history. Enriched by theatrical insights and copious research, Kustow provides a wealth of details about Brook's groundbreaking productions, such as MARAT/SADE, MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS, MAHABHARATA, and THE MAN WHO MISTOOK HIS WIFE FOR A HAT, as well as broadening our understanding of Brook's profound book on the theatrical avant-garde, THE EMPTY SPACE. PETER BROOK: A BIOGRAPHY will prove to be a valuable resource for directors and theatre historians, and an important work more generally for anyone interested in Brook's theatre and film directing' David Krasner, Yale University (pre-publication praise)show more

About Michael Kustow

Michael Kustow has been working at the leading edge of innovation in theatre, performing arts, film and television for four decades, working at the RSC, the ICA and the National Theatre. He was Channel 4's first Commissioning Editor for Arts (1981-89) where he worked with Tony Harrison and Peter Brook. He has worked as a film and TV producer and is the author of several books. He lives in North more

Rating details

6 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 17% (1)
4 33% (2)
3 33% (2)
2 17% (1)
1 0% (0)
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