Brook was born in London in March 1925, the son of Simon Brook and his wife Ida (Jansen), two Jewish immigrants. He was educated at Gresham's School and Magdalen College, Oxford.

He directed Dr Faustus, his first production, in 1943 at the Torch Theatre in London, followed at the Chanticleer Theatre in 1945 with a revival of The Infernal Machine. In 1947, he went to Stratford-upon-Avon as assistant director on Romeo and Juliet and Love's Labour's Lost. From 1947 to 1950, he was Director of Productions at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. His work there included a highly controversial staging of StraussSalome with sets by Salvador Dali and also an effective re-staging of Puccini’s La Boheme using sets dating from 1899. A proliferation of stage and screen work as producer and director followed.

In 1951, Brook married the actress Natasha Parry; the couple have a daughter.

In 1970, with Micheline Rozan, Brook founded the International Centre for Theatre Research, a multinational company of actors, dancers, musicians and others which travelled widely in the Middle East and Africa in the early 1970s. It is now based in Paris at the Bouffes du Nord theatre.[1] In 2008 he made the decision to resign as artistic director of Bouffes du Nord, handing over to Olivier Mantei and Olivier Poubelle in 2008.[2]

The Mahabharata

DVD cover
Directed byPeter Brook
Written byPeter Brook
Jean-Claude Carrière
Marie-Hélène Estienne
StarringRobert Langton-Lloyd
Antonin Stahly-Vishwanadan
Bruce Myers
Vittorio Mezzogiorno
Andrzej Seweryn
Georges Corraface
Music byToshi Tsuchitori
Rabindranath Tagore
CinematographyWilliam Lubtchansky
Release date(s)1989
Running time318 / 171 min.
CountryBelgium / Australia /U.S.A. / Sweden /Portugal / Norway /Netherlands / Japan /Ireland / Iceland /Finland / Denmark / U.K./ France
Budget$5 million

The Mahabharata is a 1989 film version of the Indian epic, Mahabharata, directed by Peter Brook. Brook's original 1985 stage play was 9 hours long, and toured around the world for four years. In 1989, it was reduced to under 6 hours for television (TV mini series). Later it was also reduced to about 3 hours for theatrical and DVD release. The screenplay was the result of eight years work by Peter Brook, Jean-Claude Carrière and Marie-Hélène Estienne. For the casting an international selection of actors was intentionally chosen, to show that the nature of the Indian epic is the story of all humanity.

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