Posts Tagged ‘The Mahabharata’

Twenty-seven years ago I travelled to Glasgow to see Peter Brook’s nine-hour adaptation of the Indian epic The Mahabharata, the first production in a disused tram shed which itself went on to become as iconic as the show that inaugurated it. Now here I am at the You g Vic seeing the now minimalist director’s new 70 minute adaptation of a part of it. 

It’s straightforward storytelling. Four actors and a musician, bare floor with orange covering (a whole load of sand back in 1988!), few props and simple costumes. It’s a story well told, but I couldn’t help being under-stimulated and underwhelmed. It’s a pleasant 70 minutes, but somewhat slight and a long way from the ground-breaking invention of ‘middle-period Brook’ (I wasn’t around for ‘early Brook’, which was by all accounts even more ground-breaking).

Just a month ago, dancer / choreographer Akram Kahn (who was in Brook’s ensemble in Glasgow) gave us Until the Lions, another extract from The Mahabharata, in another former railway building, The Roundhouse, which was a whole lot more exciting. I’m afraid I’ve tired of ‘late Brook’ and I  think its time to move on – either me or Brook.

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