Empty Space (Penguin literary criticism)

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9780140135831: Empty Space (Penguin literary criticism)

Adapted from a series of four lectures, originally delivered as the first of the Granada Northern Lectures Peter Brook's The Empty Space is an exploration of four aspects of theatre, 'Deadly, Holy, Rough and Immediate', published in Penguin Modern Classics. 'I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage' In The Empty Space, groundbreaking director Peter Brook draws on a life in love with the stage to explore the issues facing any theatrical performance. Here he describes important developments in theatre from the last century, as well as smaller scale events, from productions by Stanislavsky to the rise of Method Acting, from Brecht's revolutionary alienation technique to the free form Happenings of the 1960s, and from the different styles of such great Shakespearean actors as John Gielgud and Paul Scofield to a joyous impromptu performance in the burnt-out shell of the Hamburg Opera just after the war. Passionate, unconventional and fascinating, his book shows how theatre defies rules, builds and shatters illusions and creates lasting memories for its audiences. Peter Stephen Paul Brook CH CBE (b. 1925) is a highly influential British theatrical producer and director. During the 1950s he worked on many productions in Britain, Europe, and the USA, and in 1962 returned to Stratford-upon-Avon to join the newly established Royal Shakespeare Company. Throughout the next the 1960's he directed many ground breaking productions for the RSC before in 1970 forming The International Centre for Theatre Research in Paris. If you enjoyed The Empty Space, you might like John Berger's Ways of Seeing, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'A brilliant book ... should be read by the many besides the passionate few to whom it will be required reading' Daily Telegraph

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Review:

Peter Brook's career, beginning in the 1940s with radical productions of Shakespeare with a modern experimental sensibility and continuing to his recent work in the worlds of opera and epic theater, makes him perhaps the most influential director of the 20th century. Cofounder of the Royal Shakespeare Company and director of the International Center for Theater Research in Paris, perhaps Brook's greatest legacy will be The Empty Space. His 1968 book divides the theatrical landscape, as Brook saw it, into four different types: the Deadly Theater (the conventional theater, formulaic and unsatisfying), the Holy Theater (which seeks to rediscover ritual and drama's spiritual dimension, best expressed by the writings of Artaud and the work of director Jerzy Grotowski), the Rough Theater (a theater of the people, against pretension and full of noise and action, best typified by the Elizabethan theater), and the Immediate Theater, which Brook identifies his own career with, an attempt to discover a fluid and ever-changing style that emphasizes the joy of the theatrical experience. What differentiates Brook's writing from so many other theatrical gurus is its extraordinary clarity. His gentle illumination of the four types of theater is conversational, even chatty, and though passionately felt, it's entirely lacking in the sort of didactic bombast that flaws many similar texts. --John Longenbaugh

About the Author:

Peter Stephen Paul Brook CH CBE (born 21 March 1925) is a highly influential British theatrical producer and director. During the 1950s he worked on many productions in Britain, Europe, and the USA, and in 1962 returned to Stratford-upon-Avon to join the newly established Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). Throughout the next the 1960's he directed many ground breaking productions for the RSC before in 1970 forming The International Centre for Theatre Research in Paris.

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Brook, Peter
Published by Penguin UK (1991)
ISBN 10: 0140135839 ISBN 13: 9780140135831
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Brook, Peter
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