|Actors: Hayley Carmichael and Kathryn Hunter|
THEATRE FOR A NEW AUDIENCE
C.I.C.T. / Theatre des Bouffes du Nord
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Peter Brook and Marie-Helene Estienne
Hayley Carmichael, Kathryn Hunter, and Marcello Magni
Peter Brook is one of the most talented International Theater Director. He is an expert in
various genres: Opera, writing, theater, cinema. He is a minimalist. His book called
'THE EMPTY SPACE" Is a bible for directors especially who appreciate very little stuff on stage.
Every actor has been inthralled for decades by Peter Brook. He is a philosopher as well. All his plays seem simple with just a carpet on stage and a few stools or small chairs. Thats' it.
Believe me a carpet makes the set, elegant, sophisticated and exotic like his actors. He has actors from all over the planet. Talking about diversity in the theater, no one can beat Peter Brook.
But his plays are not simple, they are loaded with meaning, drama, emotions, politics, religion,
the plight of civilization. WHY? is all that and more.
Actors simply tells us that when god created humanity, humanity got bored quickly and then
for their amusement god created theater which provided joy and eventually danger.
Actors become real actors on stage and demonstrate without any hint of self importance how to be a real actor. How to play drunk for an example. Most of the actors playing drunk in ordinary drama
try to be drunk, they are wobbly as if they can't walk because they are playing drunk. But the real
great acting playing drunk involves being still. in WHY? one of the actor plays drunk.
He is trying to un-lock his door with his key but can never locate the key hole eventually the keys fall down but he can't pick them up, he gestures towards the audience in the first row to pick them up and
give it to him but the audience member picks up the keys and throw them at him, he can't catch them,
keys fall on the floor again...this whole scene becomes a great lesson in marvelous acting lesson
and is hilarious at the same time.
All the actors in the show are superb. They can move, they can dance, they can sing. Great talented cast, a joy to watch.
Then play turns into the danger part of the theater. It deals with great actors and directors in Communist countries, in this case Soviet Union where everything is censored and theater is considered dangerous and the people doing it as well. Well known theater directors and their wives are being arrested, tortured and killed. So the philosophy of the play WHY? is a question.
Why should such creative imagination which gives such joy is a punishable act? and why life should be like that? Why we always have to pay a price for having any kind of fun and joy... Why? the eventual punishment?
WHY? is an amazing play, it raises so many important questions which have no answers, it's life.
In life one doesn't know when a moment of great happiness will turn into a dangerous tragedy.
I love Peter Brook. I have always loved him. When I was living in London long time ago studying
acting, I came upon his book, The Empty Space and that is my bible now and I hate clutter on stage.
Minimalism breathes, moves, and smells freshness. When ever there is an empty space one wants to get up and dance...and free movement on stage without bumping into furniture is pure bliss in the theater.