As the story goes …

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Brook, Peter
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Department of German, University College Cork
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In the rubric Texts around Theatre (TaT) we present various perspectives on theatre – historical and contemporary, intercultural and culture-specific, unexpectedly weird, unusually suspenseful, disturbedly gripping, fascinatingly enigmatic etc. Through the following story renowned theatre director Peter Brook reminds us that what happens on the theatre stage has to be of interest to everyone in the audience, and he leaves us with the question: How can this be achieved? God, seeing how desperately bored everyone was on the seventh day of creation, racked his overstretched imagination to find something more to add to the completeness he had just conceived. Suddenly his inspiration burst even beyond his own limitless bounds and he saw a further aspect of reality: its possibility to imitate itself. So he invented theatre. He called his angels together and announced this in the following terms, which are still contained in an ancient Sanskrit document. “The theatre will be the field in which people can learn to understand the sacred mysteries of the universe. And at the same time,” he added with deceptive casualness, “it will be a comfort to the drunkard and to the lonely.”The angels were very excited and could hardly wait for there to be ...
Brook, P. (2018) 'As the story goes …', Scenario: A Journal of Performative Teaching, Learning, Research, XII(2), pp. 110-111.