Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

03 September 2004

The Empty Space

I finished Peter Brook's The Empty Space just now and I want to share how Brook ends the book:

In everyday life, 'if' is a fiction, in the theatre 'if' is an experiment.

>In everyday life, 'if' is an evasion, in the theatre 'if' is the truth.

When we are persuaded to believe in this truth, then the theatre and life are one.

This is a high aim. It sounds like hard work.

To play needs much work. But when we experience the work as play, then it is not work anymore.

A play is play.

I know that to reduce (a hateful word) Mr. Brook's amazing treatise on theatre into this small section with which he summates the book is to be unfair to the whole of the book.  This section is by no means the most moving or emotional or grasping part of the book, either.  The Empty Space is a book that ought to be taught to directors around the world.  Some of Brook's conclusions about the theatre and challenges to theatre artists are the most incredible I've ever read.