Iconoclastic Director Debuts His Latest Play In NZ

Published: Tue 17 Nov 2009 03:54 PM
Iconoclastic Director Debuts His Latest Play in New Zealand
“..Any production from Peter Brook, one of our greatest modern directors, is sure to be a wonder to behold.” The London Times
Legendary theatre director Peter Brook is currently in rehearsal with his latest work Eleven and Twelve ahead of its world premiere in Paris at the end of November, then subsequent tour to Poland and London then direct to the New Zealand International Arts Festival in March.
“It is hard to imagine that New Zealand has not yet seen a production from Peter Brook, one of the finest directors and innovators of stage and screen. It is indeed a privilege to bring his latest work to these shores,” says Lissa Twomey, Artistic Director of the New Zealand International Arts Festival.
Eleven and Twelve is based on the true story of Sufi mystic Tierno Bokar, written by Amadou Hampaté Bâ about his real life teacher.
French-ruled Africa in the 1930s is shaken then torn apart by colonialism and internal strife. A tiny disagreement over the meaning of the number eleven as opposed to the number twelve results in a series of tragic events that link a small African village to the highest political decision of the Second World War.
For more than 35 years Brook has been based at the Bouffes du Nord Theatre in Paris where he founded the International Centre for Theatre Research, a multinational company of actors, dancers, musicians and technicians. Last year he decided to resign as Artistic Director and will hand over to Olivier Mantei and Olivier Poubelle in 2011.
Born in London in 1925, Brook’s contribution to world theatre is unmatched and the list of his collaborators is a who’s who of 20th century acting greats including Sir John Gielgud, Sir Laurence Olivier, Ben Kingsley and Patrick Stewart. He introduced Glenda Jackson to the theatre in 1962. His famous productions include Hamlet with Paul Scofield, Marat/Sade, Oedipus with John Gielgud, and The Mahabharata. His book The Empty Space about the theatre is highly influential.
Brook has received numerous major awards and distinctions including Commander of the Order of the British Empire, the Legion d’honneur and the Companion of Honour. Last year he received the Critics’ Circle Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts.
WHEN: 10-14 March
WHERE: St James Theatre
“Britain’s greatest director has pulled off one of his most densely spiritual creations to date.”
The Financial Times (UK)

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