Download The Greatest Shows on Earth: World Theatre from Peter Brook by John Freeman PDF

By John Freeman

Written from a variety of perspectives—international actors, administrators, playwrights, lecturers, dancers, and artists—this e-book examines and celebrates 14 theater occasions from a dozen nations. because it makes a case for what makes sure theater productions nice, this checklist additionally deals examples of writing approximately theater that imbues the analysis with emotion and documentation. From Peter Brook’s King Lear of 1962 via 2010’s Oberammergau Passionsspiele, the performances defined are seminal works certainly.

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Additional info for The Greatest Shows on Earth: World Theatre from Peter Brook to the Sydney Olympics

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Brook describes how Scofield as Lear achieved this: ‘He refused to be disturbed by my constant chiding that he was not portraying an old man. ’27 This is a neat and, to my mind, accurate summation but what it understandably omits is the invigoration achieved by the production through its purposeful, focused vitality, and the density and depth of the experience which, while devoid of sentiment, was not devoid of emotion, and though forbidding, was not negatively passive. Although for me the achievement of Scofield at the head of a terrific cast in an exemplary production is undoubtedly linked to the period in my life when I saw it and how it figured in my own embryonic interest in theatre, the production deserves attention because of its wider importance.

Perhaps the most spectacular example of this collective creation was the stagecoach on which Nicholas leaves for Yorkshire. As with so many aspects of the production this had grown out of work during the preparatory period. Using a flat truck as its chassis, the coach is quickly assembled as the background to Nicholas’s tearful farewell to his family by members of the cast using a table used earlier in the same scene as part of the interior of the coaching inn The Saracen’s Head, costume baskets and various other items.

In this process of looking everywhere, writes Marowitz, ‘Every rehearsal session dictates its own rhythm and state of completion. 13 It did not matter who wrote the plays and what the biographical traces might be because ‘it’s something that actually resembles reality’ with an ‘unlimited number of interpretations, which is a characteristic of reality’. A Shakespeare play reaches us not ‘as a series of messages’ but ‘as a series of impulses that can produce many understandings’. Brook believed Shakespeare had discovered 300 years before Picasso ‘the cubism of the theatre’, a ‘realistic image of life’.

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