We're excited to announce the release of the first-ever audiobook edition of The Empty Space – the hugely influential classic of theatre writing by Peter Brook (‘our greatest living theatre director’, Independent) – read by award-winning actor Adrian Lester.
More than 50 years on from its first publication in print in 1968, The Empty Space remains a cornerstone of thinking about theatre. It sets out many of the ideas about theatre which have informed Brook’s lifelong work as a theatre director, from his iconic ‘white box’ production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and his groundbreaking adaptation of The Mahabharata, to his ongoing work at the International Centre for Theatre Research. NHB previously published the first ebook edition of The Empty Space in 2019.
Read by Adrian Lester – who played the title role in Brook’s acclaimed production of Hamlet in Paris, London and New York – this new unabridged audiobook of The Empty Space will continue to inspire and instruct new generations of theatre-makers everywhere.
Matt Applewhite, Managing Director of Nick Hern Books, said:
‘Peter Brook’s The Empty Space is one of the most influential books written about the theatre – if not any art form. We’re proud to release it in audiobook for the first time, following our publication of the first-ever ebook edition in 2019, on the occasion of Peter's ninetieth birthday. Adrian Lester’s beautiful reading will give lovers, students and scholars of theatre a new opportunity to enjoy this landmark of theatre-writing.’
Adrian Lester said:
‘As with all great books I’ve come across, the ideas Peter Brook explored and crystalised on the page in The Empty Space helped form many of the approaches I use as an actor to this day. It was wonderful to be able to go back and read Peter’s incredible book again. I can see how clearly his philosophies have shaped the way we practice and engage with theatre. It is a seminal piece of work that examines as much of society as it does the various ways society tries to entertain itself. It was a privilege to read it.’