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Peter Brook Short Biography

Theatre and film director, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, and his involvement in the theatre began while at university. He directed many classical plays at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, went to Stratford in 1947, and was also director of productions at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (194750). Famous for his innovatory approach, during the 1950s he worked on many productions in Britain, Europe, and the USA, and in 1962 returned to Stratford to join the newly established Royal Shakespeare Company for which he directed, among other productions, King Lear (1962) and Peter Weiss's Marat/Sade (1964), epitomizing Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty, in which movement, sound, and rhythm rather than words express the underlying ferocity and ruthlessness of human life.

Most of his work in the 1970s was done with the Paris-based Centre for Theatre Research, which he founded and with which he travelled widely in Africa and Asia.

Later Paris productions include an adaptation of The Mahabharata (televised in 1989) and The Tempest (1990). Among his films are The Beggar's Opera (1952), Lord of the Flies (1962), and King Lear (1969).

His publications include The Shifting Point (1988, autobiography ), Threads of Time (1998, a memoir), and Evoking Shakespeare (1999). He became a Companion of Honour in 1998.

 

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