Saturday, February 13, 2010

Post-show with Peter Brook

On the Guardian theatre blog, Guild member John Morrison recounts his experience of an extraordinary post-show encounter with theatre director Peter Brook.
Last Tuesday's event helped me understand a little more of what he's up to. Firstly, his theatre is about storytelling. Secondly, he believes in the maxim of the famous French chef, Escoffier: faites simple (keep it simple). Thirdly, and most importantly, he has a deep respect for the audience, who are more than just passive watchers and listeners. In Brook's concept of theatre, the audience is essential; without it, nothing happens. "The relationship between the actor and the audience is the only theatre reality," he once told an interviewer. That idea puts Brook at odds with the tradition of Stanislavski and his followers, such as director Katie Mitchell, who seem to view the audience as at best incidental to their productions. Brook admits he has "barely read" Stanislavski.

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