Peter Brook talks at The British Library
Skyscraper – The Esoteric and the Profane in Shakespeare
14:30 – 16:00
Our greatest theatre director meditates on a lifetime’s thinking about Shakespeare.
For Peter Brook (b 1925) William Shakespeare has been a lifelong companion. Even as a child Brook created a puppet version of Hamlet, and in 1946 he became the youngest ever to direct at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.
His early career RSC productions, from Romeo and Juliet, Measure for Measure and Titus Andronicus onward showed an increasing willingness to experiment with form, and to strip back the plays to their essences in order to derive greater meaning.
Brook’s masterful experiments with Shakespeare have continued almost ever since, across his many years based at Stratford, in films and at Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris.
Peter Brook and associates: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
18:30 – 20:30, 15 June
In 1970, the possibilities of Shakespeare in performance were changed forever by a radical staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the RSC.
The set consisted of a brilliantly-lit white box and the actors performed circus skills and trapeze-swinging, inspired by Chinese acrobats. We are delighted to welcome its director, Peter Brook, one of the world’s greatest theatre artists, to talk about this moment in dramatic history and much more besides. He is joined by two of the original company, Frances de la Tour and Ben Kingsley, as well as Shakespeare scholar Peter Holland.
Peter Brook has been a consistently reappearing feature throughout LIFT’s 35 year history so it is a pleasure to welcome him once again for this talk in association with The British Library.