(Beverly Hills, CA May 10) Thirty years ago The Mahabharata redefined epic theater in the 20th Century. Now, the internationally renowned team of Peter Brook, Marie-Hélène Estienne and Jean-Claude Carrière revisits the great Indian masterpiece for Battlefield, a breathtaking 70-minute distillation of the central story in the ancient Sanskrit poem of The Mahabharata. The Wallis presents the Southern California premiere of Battlefield for six performances: Wednesday, May 24 through Saturday, May 27 at 8pm, with matinees on Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28 at 2pm.
Battlefield opens in the wake of an apocalyptic civil war where a victorious yet remorseful king—his hands still bloodied from the carnage—desperately seeks a just way to rule over murderers and murdered alike. Silk scarves become rivers and shrouds; four actors are reincarnated as worms and eagles, victims and perpetrators, while a single percussive instrumentalist scores the bleak peace of oblivion, giving haunting new life to this staggering Indian epic.
“After decades working as a theatrical life force, Peter Brook continues to astonish us with his unparalleled vision for the stage,” said Paul Crewes, The Wallis’ Artistic Director. “Audiences who saw The Mahabharata had a life-changing event; for those who did not, Battlefield is the rarest of opportunities to experience Peter Brook’s work live, onstage. Peter is a brilliant storyteller and he has chosen this particular story from that epic masterpiece. The themes found in the ancient world of Battlefield could not be more relevant and meaningful than they are today. You don’t want to miss it!”
Single tickets are now available for $35 – $75. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit TheWallis.org, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Ticket prices subject to change.
Legendary British director Peter Brook’s colossal 1985 production of The Mahabharata remains one of the greatest and most memorable theatrical productions of all time. At 92, Brook, working with Marie-Hélène Estienne and Jean-Claude Carrière, once again takes inspiration from The Mahabharata, to create Battlefield, a revised and extended excerpt from this sweeping epic poem of ancient India.
Battlefield begins as the devastation of war is tearing the Bharata family apart. The victorious new king must unravel a mystery: how can he live with himself in the face of the devastation and massacres that he has caused. Using just four actors and a musician, Battlefield has the economics of storytelling and the signature style of Peter Brook’s theater. Battlefield is an immense canvas in miniature; this central section of the ancient Sanskrit text is timeless and contemporary, asking how we can find inner peace in a world riven with conflict.
The U.S. tour of Battlefield is produced by David Eden Productions. It is a Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord production, co-produced by: The Grotowski Institute; PARCO Co. Ltd / Tokyo; Les Théâtres de la ville de Luxembourg; Young Vic Theatre; Singapore Repertory Theater; Le Théâtre de Liège; C.I.R.T.; Attiki Cultural Society; and Cercle des Partenaires des Bouffes du Nord.
The four actors of Battlefield are Karen Aldridge, Jared McNeill, Ery Nzaramba and Sean O’Callaghan, with music composed and performed by Toshi Tsuchitori.
Battlefield running time is 70 minutes with no intermission. For complete production information, please visit The Wallis’ program pages for Battlefield located here.
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For downloadable photos, please visit TheWallis.org/Press.
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