Eleven & Twelve, Festival di Spoleto
« For Christians and Moslems alike, God through his Prophets has given to mankind a clear and simple commandment: “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. Today we see that no rational thought, no intelligent debate, no social analysis has ever influenced nor can explain the endless current of hatred that pours through History.
The great African writer, Amadou Hampaté Bâ, born into traditional African village life and as a young man entering the French colonial administration, lived close to these agonising human realities and wrestled deeply with the questions they aroused. In his book, Tierno Bokar, he draws on vivid experiences from his own life, opening up images of uncontrollable passion in family, social and political relationships. The deep question of religion and its place in everyday life is everpresent, not to draw moral conclusions but to live through its frightening contradictions. These are the themes that are developed in 11 and 12.
11 and 12 are two numbers which on a purely theological level have a deep hidden meaning. In the recent past, these abstract figures gradually took on flesh and blood, leading to feuds, violence and massacres.
11 and 12 also shows the unshakeable conviction of two remarkable individuals Tierno Bokar and Cherif Hamallah. They both believe that tolerance is the most difficult and the most essential quality for a human being to develop. They stand firm despite every pressure and in the end sacrifice their lives in the name of a supreme tolerance that can encompass violence with an even greater power. In this way, the theme of 11 and 12 is not only irresistibly fascinating as a dramatic narrative, but closer than ever to our preoccupations today.
Produced by the barbican Centre, the Bouffes du Nord and the Grotowski Institute, 11 and 12 is presented by a cast in which African, European, American, Palestinian and Japanese performers come together. » Peter Brook
Peter Brook was born in London in 1925. He directed his first play there in 1943. He then went on to direct over 70 productions in London, Paris and New York. His work with the Royal Shakespeare Company includes Love’s Labour’s Lost (1946), Measure for Measure(1950), Titus Andronicus (1955), King Lear(1962), Marat/Sade (1964), US (1966), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1970) and Antonyand Cleopatra (1978).
In 1971, he founded with Micheline Rozan the International Centre for Theatre Research in Paris and in 1974, opened its permanent base in the Bouffes du Nord Theatre. There, he directed Timon of Athens, The Ik, Ubu aux Bouffes, Conference of the Birds, L’Os, The Cherry Orchard, The Mahabharata, Woza Albert!, The Tempest, The Man Who, Qui est là?, Oh! les Beaux Jours, Je suis un Phénomène, Le Costume, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Far Away, La Mort de Krishna, Ta Main dans la Mienne, Le Grand Inquisiteur, Tierno Bokar, Sizwe Banzi is dead, Fragments, Warum Warum and Love is my Sin – many of these performing both in French and English.
In opera, he directed La Bohème, Boris Godounov, The Olympians, Salomé and Le Nozze de Figaro at Covent Garden; Faust andEugene Onegin at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, La Tragédie de Carmen and Impressions of Pelleas, at the Bouffes du Nord, Paris and Don Giovanni for the Aix en Provence Festival.
Peter Brook’s autobiography, Threads of Time, was published in 1998 and joins other titles including The Empty Space (1968) – translated into over 15 languages, The Shifting Point(1987), Evoking (and Forgetting) Shakespeare(2002), There are no Secrets (1993) and With Grotowski (2009).
His films include Lord of the Flies, Marat/Sade, King Lear, Moderato Cantabile, The Mahabharata and Meetings with Remarkable Men.