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France-based British theater legend Peter Brook dies aged 97: source

#Francebased #British #theater #legend #Peter #Brook #dies #aged #source

France-based British theater director Peter Brook, who revolutionized the stage with radical interpretations of the classics before returning drama to its simplest roots, has died aged 97, a source said on Sunday.

Brook, who was born in Britain but has lived in France for decades, died on Saturday, a source close to the director, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

He is also known for his iconic 1963 film adaptation of the novel Lord of the Flies, about schoolboys who are stranded on an island and slip into the wild.

Brook rose to fame in Britain as a young director, giving a radical and sometimes gory twist to classics such as the works of Shakespeare, working with actors who would later become legends in their own right.

But his methods underwent a gradual change after moving to France in the early 1970s, reducing theater to sheer simplicity and often being influenced by Eastern traditions.

“Peter Brook gave us the most beautiful silence in the theater, but this final silence is infinitely sad,” French culture minister Rima Abdul Malak said on Twitter.

“With him, the stage was taken back to its liveliest intensity. He left us so much,” she added, saying he will “forever be the soul” of the Bouffes du Nord theater in north Paris, where his work is based.

“Sad news,” wrote actor Adrian Lester, who played the title role in a Brook production of Hamlet.

“The man was a giant in our field. He asked bold questions and adamantly refused to settle for mediocrity,” he wrote on Twitter.

“His influence changed everything about western theater, even the design of some of our buildings.”

Simon McBurney, founder and artistic director of London’s Theater de Complicite, which was heavily influenced by Brooks’ methods, hailed him on Twitter as “a visionary, provocateur, prophet, trickster and friend”.

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