Theatre mentor -Peter Brooks

As I am beginning to create a body of work for my Hamlet project I wanted to research other people’s work and in particular somebody who has created minimalist theatre design before.

Peter Brooks is a film and theatre director who has explored radical theatre through his work and books such as the famous ‘The Empty Space’.

His work interests me because he rejected traditional theatre and came up with radical approaches to theatre design. For example in a 1970’s  production of A Midsummer night’s dream Oberon and pick sat and stood on swings in a very bare space. They used stilts, juggling and swings to convey the narrative rather than conventional props.

What attracts me to this style of theatre design is not only the interesting props but the idea of stripping back the stage to a blank canvas and adding things in, in the rehearsal process for example when it is actually needed. I think theatre design can be very clever when only the bare necessities are there and it becomes more improvision and play rather than putting lots of expensive set on stage for the sake of it.

Exploring Peter Brooks’ work has inspired me to push my minimalist idea further. At first I was skeptical that I could pull off designing Hamlet as a minimal, modern play as it will be hard to show in a model box the action that would happen. Peter Brooks’ work has inspired me however to push my love of this type of theatre and make it work.