I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.
So begins The Empty Space (1968) by the visionary British theatre director Peter Brook, who died on Saturday, aged 97.
While Brook’s gendered pronouns show that not all aspects of The Empty Space have aged equally well, it remains one of the most influential books on modern drama. Its core idea, encapsulated in Brook’s opening sentence, perfectly captures his enduring but complex legacy.