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Why Peter Brook hates art and culture

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Will Gompertz | 12:35 UK time, Tuesday, 9 February 2010

He is nearly eighty-five years old and is known for his charm and his sense of fun. Don't be fooled, though, by the cuddly elder-statesman bit: Peter Brook is as passionate and outspoken as ever. I asked him why he often says that he hates arts and culture.

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You can also see my report on Mr Brook's play Eleven and Twelve for the Ten O'Clock News.


  • Comment number 1.

    Must confess I have not read todays entry. But I saw your name and thought , a relation. My name is Adam Gompertz.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Will,
    I thought you might be interested in this, there's an exhibition coming up on the 20th of Feb centred around Punk music. The exhibition is called 'We Love 77'.

    77 paintings of different bands that cature the essence of Punk music.

    The opening on the 19th has ex RoxyClub DJ Don Letts from 1977!
    There's a video interview with the painters here:

    well I thought it could be news you'd be interested in

    all the best

  • Comment number 3.

    Peter Brook is a quiet, meditative genius.
    Why would he need arts & culture; art & culture our objects of space & time. Peter Brook seems to see through art & culture to the raw reality out of which they spring. In short, Peter Brook is beyond art & culture; he is timeless.
    I remember him saying once (source no longer remembered): You take a man, have another man watching him, and that is theatre.
    This simple statement ocrresponds so well to another genius:
    All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;
    They have their exits and their entrances,
    And one man in his time plays many parts…
    (William Shakespeare - All the world's a stage (from As You Like It)

    Peter Brooks’ latest play “11 and 12” begins with a disagreement about the hidden meaning of two numbers. The remainder of the plot (I’ll not spoil for your readers), except I cannot resist 2 little snippets:
    1. play opens with absolutely bare stage,
    2. the underlying question: Why is this country (or any country for that matter) fighting to horrendous death over whether prayers should be recited eleven or twelve times?


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