Theatre maker Peter Brook passed away

Theatre maker Peter Brook passed away

July 3, 2022

On 2 July, the British theatre maker Peter Brook has passed away at the age of 97. He is considered one of the most influential theatre directors of the 20th century. His work has been shown several times at the Holland Festival. 

His work is internationally respected, not only for its sheer size and stylistic breadth, but also for his constant drive for innovation. For twenty years, he was resident director of The Royal Shakespeare Company, where he was responsible for innovative versions of King Lear (1962) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (1970), among others. He directed major actors such as John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh and Ben Kingsley. 

In the 1970s, Brook established his own theatre company in Paris, at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord. Together with actors, dancers, musicians and other performers, he spent the first few years travelling through the Middle East and Africa in search of a universal theatre language. He increasingly focused on multicultural theatre, culminating in the nine-hour adaptation of the Hindu epic Mahabharata (1985), with a cast from all parts of the world.

Peter Brook first appeared at the Holland Festival in 1994 with The Man Who, a theatrical adaptation of Oliver Sacks' famous book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. It was followed by Tierno Bokar (2005), the opera Une flûte enchantée (2011) and The Valley of Astonishment (2014). 

On the Holland Festival Gems platform, watch the fragment Tierno Bokar, in which Peter Brook gives his vision of theatre.