Peter Brook, an internationally acclaimed and multiple-award winning stage and film director, who’s work covered almost 100 plays and musicals as well as classic movies, has died at the age 97.
Simon, his son, confirmed the news via social media. Writing: “I am the luckiest guy in the world to have had such an amazing and loving father. May he rest in peace.”
His productions of classics such as Shakespeare, Chekhov, Arthur Miller and others are well-known. The English-born artist has been the recipient multiple Tonys, Emmys and a Laurence Olivier Award.
Born in London on March 21, 1925, Brook first began staging plays for his family as a young boy, but wouldn’t find his life’s calling in the theater until he graduated from Oxford University. After a smattering of undergraduate and fringe productions, he first began to attract attention for staging Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost”Age 21 in Stratford-upon-Avon
From the 40s to the early 60s, he took commercial theater – on both Broadway the West End – by storm with plays like “Romeo and Juliet,” “No Exit,” “A View From the Bridge,” and “The Little Hut.”His musical works are included “House of Flowers” “Irma La Douce,”Tony Awards winning Broadway productions “Marat/Sade”1966 “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”1971
A late ’40s stint as the director of productions at London’s Royal Opera House ended in disaster as Brook tried to shake up old conventions of the opera. After highly-received productions, Brook left the Royal Opera House in London. “Faust” “Eugene Onegin”In the 1950s, he left the art form and returned to it in 1983. “Carmen.”
Brook, who originally wanted to be a movie director and founded Oxford’s University Film Society in 1943, directed a handful of Shakespeare and opera adaptations for the screen. He also helmed a 1963 adaption of William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”A documentary was made in 1968 about Vietnam War perspectives. “Tell Me Lies.”He also co-wrote a 2012 documentary on his creative process, called “Peter Brook: The Tightrope,”Which his son also directed and wrote.
Brook established the International Center for Theater Research (ICTR) in Paris after he moved there in 1970.
His son Simon Brook and his daughter Irina Brook, both children of his wife Natasha Parry who died in 2015, are his survivors.