Theaters across London will dim their lights at 7pm tonight, Monday, July 4, in memory of British theater director Peter Brook, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 97.
Before the evening’s performances begin, the lights are dimmed for two minutes in tribute by the theater industry and the public to the Tony and Olivier award-winning director, whose prolific career spanned eight decades and spanned opera, plays and musicals.
His first job as director was for a 1943 dr. AS Faustus in London. From 1947 to 1950 he was director of productions at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Among his productions was Strauss’ salome, with decors by Salvador Dali. He later directed operas for the Metropolitan Opera and the Aix en Provence Festival. He worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1950 to 1970, including directing the revolutionary production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1970 and transformed what it meant to bring Shakespeare to life for contemporary audiences. In the 1970s, he founded the Bouffes du Nord Theater in Paris, which became his base for over thirty years.
His fascinating work continued into the twenty-first century. Only this year he directed The Tempest Project with Marie-Hélène Estienne, his longtime collaborator. Throughout his career, Brook questioned theatrical conventions and tried to break boundaries whenever possible.
The tradition of dimming theater lights has long been revived in the West End to pay tribute to the most renowned theater makers.