Battlefield OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    September 28, 2016
    Closing:
    October 9, 2016

    Theater: BAM Harvey Theater / 651 Fulton Street, New York, NY,

    Synopsis: 

    Thirty years after his legendary sunset-to-sunrise production of The Mahabharata consecrated the BAM Harvey stage, director Peter Brook returns with Battlefield, a breathtaking distillation of the central story in the ancient Sanskrit poem. In the wake of an apocalyptic civil war, a remorseful King Yudishtira—his hands still bloodied from the carnage—desperately seeks some 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; and a single instrumentalist (a veteran of Brook’s original production) scores the bleak peace of oblivion, giving haunting new life to this staggering Indian epic.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Battlefield

    'Battlefield' Explores the Silence After the War

    Ben Brantley

    September 30, 2016: Three decades ago, this hushed and hallowed place was a theater of war. Surviving witnesses still speak with awe of what they heard and saw then — of flights of white-feathered arrows and vaulting bodies, and the ever-rising din of voices in eternal conflict. The smoke has now cleared at the Harvey Theater of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the frenzy of warfare gone still. Peter Brook, the director responsible for the artfully arranged cosmic carnage called “The Mahabharata,” staged here in 1987, has now returned in contemplation with “Battlefield,” an elegiac play of stark and uncommon beauty. Mr. Brook, one of the great forces in world theater since the 1950s, is back to tell what is essentially the same story, or at least an epilogue to it. Created with his longtime collaborator, Marie-Hélène Estienne, “Battlefield” revisits the bloodied fields of “The Mahabharata,” the ancient Sanskrit narrative that is the world’s longest epic poem, which was adapted into nine hours of stage time for Mr. Brook’s Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord by Jean-Claude Carrière.

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