Peter Brook: Influential British theatre and film director who worked with Sir Lawrence Olivier dies at 97 | UK News


Influential British theatre and film director Peter Brook has died at the age of 97, according to reports in French media.

Brook won multiple awards including Tonys and Emmys during his 70-year career and worked with stars including Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud and Adrian Lester.

The Le Monde newspaper said he died in Paris on Saturday.

Brook’s publisher, Nick Hern Books, paid tribute to him, saying he “leaves behind an incredible artistic legacy”.

Born in Chiswick, west London, in 1925 to Lithuanian Jewish parents, he attended Westminster School followed by Oxford University.

His first production was of Dr Faustus in 1943 at the Torch Theatre in London.

He made waves during his time as director of productions at the Royal Opera House between 1947 and 1950, where he staged an experimental version of Richard Strauss’s Salome with sets by Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali.

File photo dated 4/11/1998 of Peter Brook outside Buckingham Palace after receiving the Insignia of a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour from the Queen. The influential British theatre and film director has died at the age of 97, according to reports in French media. Brook, who had lived in France since the early 1970s, won multiple awards including Tonys, Emmys and an Olivier across his seven-decade career in the arts. Issue date: Sunday July 3, 2022.

He gained more fame directing Sir Lawrence as Titus Andronicus in Stratford for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1955.

In 1970, Brook moved to Paris, where he set up the International Centre for Theatre Research, which travelled widely in the Middle East and Africa as part of a three-year “pilgrimage”.

His troupe would perform for rural communities often with just a carpet as a stage.

Brook was also among the first in theatre to focus on increasing the diversity of his productions.

In an interview with the Evening Standard in 2019, he described his method of casting as “colour-rich” as opposed to “colour-blind”.

He was made a CBE in 1965 and a Companion of Honour in 1998.

In 1951, Brook married actress Natasha Parry and they have two children – Irina, an actress and director, and Simon, a director.

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