Theatres across London will be dimming their lights at 19:00 tonight (4 July) in memory of the British theatre director Peter Brook, who died on Sunday aged 97.
Before this evening’s performances begin, lights will be dimmed for two minutes as a tribute by the theatre industry and audience members to the Tony and Olivier award-winning director, whose prolific career spanned eight decades and included opera, plays and musicals.
His first job as director was for a 1943 Doctor Faustus in London. From 1947 to 1950, he was director of productions at the Royal Opera House. Among his productions was Strauss’ Salome, featuring sets by Salvador Dali. He later directed operas for the Metropolitan Opera and the Aix en Provence Festival. He worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1950 to 1970, including directing the revolutionary production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1970, transforming what it meant to bring Shakespeare alive for a contemporary audience. In the 1970s, he established the Bouffes du Nord Theatre in Paris, which became his base for over thirty years.
His captivating work continued into the 21st Century. Just this year, he staged The Tempest Project with Marie-Hélène Estienne, his long-time collaborator. Throughout his career, Brook questioned theatrical conventions and tried to break boundaries whenever possible.
The tradition of dimming theatre lights has long been performed in the West End to pay respects to theatre’s most renowned contributors.