Rustom Bharucha, Janice Paran, and Laurence Shyer
The following discussion is excerpted from an interview with Jan Kott, author of Shakespeare Our Contemporary ( 1964), The Eating Of The Gods ( 1973), and other books.
Jan, you have not written about your association with Peter Brook or Giorgio Strehler in any way that would confirm this, but would you say you served as their dramaturg? When did you first begin to talk with Brook about King Lear?
Peter Brook came to Warsaw in 1957 with his production of Titus Andronicus. I was impressed by the production; it confirmed my thoughts that the cruel, Renaissance Shakespeare was our contemporary. After seeing his production I took Brook to the old town section of Warsaw . . . We had a quiet conversation for three or four hours--it was our first and only meeting not interrupted by telephone calls. It was the beginning of our conversations about King Lear. After that Peter invited me to his London flat, where I stayed as a guest for two weeks. He read the French version of my essay on Lear before his production of the play. I remember that when we discussed the play he was always working with his hands on a design of the set. For Peter the production was first of all to be planned in the set.
Have you met with Brook about other productions since then?