Theatre News

Legendary theatre director Peter Brook has died aged 97

The news was announced this morning

Peter Brook
Peter Brook
© Dan Wooller

Celebrated theatre director Peter Brook has died aged 97.

Brook worked on dozens of seminal productions across his career, both with the RSC during its infancy and alongside the Royal Opera House, where he served as director of productions. He picked up a variety of awards including a Tony, an Emmy, an Olivier and the Europe Theatre Prize.

In 1970 he founded the International Centre for Theatre Research, working out of Paris to deliver internationally revered stagings of classics and new texts.

One of his most commended contributions to theatre was his oft-cited text The Empty Space, a formative interpretation of the way in which theatre is made – that has been the handbook for many directors since. It was also the basis for the Empty Space Peter Brook Award annual prize, which was given for the last time in 2017.

Perhaps Brooks' most well-known individual work is his 1970 staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream, presented on an empty white set where metaphor presided over the material. The cast for the production included Ben Kingsley, Frances de la Tour, Sara Kestelman and Alan Howard. Many have seen this as one of the most influential Shakespeare revivals of the last century.

Brook last spoke to WhatsOnStage in 2018, when his production of The Prisoner ran at the Edinburgh International Festival and National Theatre, saying "the most depressing thing about theatre today is excessive seat prices."

The West End will dim its lights for two minutes for Brook on Monday (4 July).

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