We are pleased to announce the publication of Peter Brook’s The Quality of Mercy: Reflections on Shakespeare, in which one of the world’s most revered theatre directors reflects on the world’s most revered playwright.
“Exquisite… enthralling… This short, modest and brilliant book does more than many more grandiose tomes to renew the reader’s fascination with the plays, and the theatre-goer’s wonder at the extraordinary and diverse sensations locked up inside the First Folio. It should be required reading at all universities and drama clubs.”—Robert McCrum, The Guardian
In this sequence of essays—all but one published here for the first time—Peter Brook debates such questions as who was the man who wrote Shakespeare’s plays, why Shakespeare is never out of date and how actors should approach Shakespeare’s verse. He also revisits some of the plays which he has directed with notable brilliance, such as King Lear, Titus Andronicus and, of course, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Taken as a whole, this short but immensely wise book offers an illuminating and provocative insight into a great director’s relationship with our greatest playwright.
“Contains within its scintillating reflections the essence of all that Peter Brook has learned over a lifetime. Whoever imagined that a book about Shakespeare could also be such fun?”—John Heilpern, Wall Street Journal
Peter Brook is one of the world’s best-known theatre directors. Outstanding in a career full of remarkable achievements are his productions of Titus Andronicus with Laurence Olivier, King Lear with Paul Scofield, and Marat/Sade and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Since moving to Paris and establishing the Centre International de Créations Théâtrale at the Bouffes du Nord, he has produced a series of events which push at the boundaries of theatre, such as The Conference of Birds, The Ik, The Mahabharata and The Tragedy of Hamlet. His films include Lord of the Flies, King Lear and The Mahabharata. His books, especially The Empty Space, have been hugely influential.