Groundbreaking British theatre director Peter Brook dies at age 97


By AGENCY

The France-based British theatre director Peter Brook, who revolutionised the stage with radical interpretations of the classics before returning drama to its simplest roots, has died aged 97, a source said on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Peter Brook, a British theatre and film director known for an influential and distinguished career which saw him garner worldwide acclaim, has died. He was 97.

The two-time Tony Award winner, who had settled in France decades ago, directed the film adaptations of his best stage works as well as the 1963 movie Lord Of The Flies.

Brook’s publisher Nick Hern Books said in a statement on Sunday that he "leaves behind an incredible artistic legacy." French media reports said that Brook died in Paris on Saturday (July 2).

Born in London in 1925, Brook would go on to study at Oxford University and direct his first London show Doctor Faustus while he was still a teenager.

After serving as director of productions at the Royal Opera House, he gained further notoriety through his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, or RSC, including Titus Andronicus starring Laurence Olivier.

He was a Tony Award winner for Best Direction in 1966 for his interpretation of Peter Weiss’ Marat/Sade, and in 1970 for the production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Brook was also the recipient of an Olivier Award, an Emmy and an International Emmy during his seven-decade career.

After settling in Paris in the 1970s, the director founded the International Center for Theater Research, for which he would regenerate the rundown Bouffes du Nord theater in the French capital.

Worldwide recognition also saw him honoured with art prizes including Japan’s Praemium Imperiale, Italy’s Prix Italia, and most recently Spain’s Princess of Asturias in 2019.

British actor Adrian Lester, who worked with Brook across RSC productions of Hamlet, tweeted he had been a "giant in our field.”

Brook was married to actress Natasha Parry from 1951 before she died following a stroke in 2015. They are survived by two children, Irina and Simon, both of whom are directors. - AP

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