Legendary stage director, Peter Brook, now 83, will begin a “gradual transition from the inside”, resulting in handing over the reigns of the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in 2010 to Olivier Mantei, deputy head of the Paris opera company Opéra-Comique and currently head of the musical programming at the Bouffes du Nord. Olivier Poubelle, a theatre entrepreneur specialising in modern music at some of Paris's most cutting-edge popular music venues, will work alongside him. The worn old theater, which Brook rescued from ruin in 1974, is where he has based his International Centre for Theatre Research.
Brook said: "I wanted to look very realistically to the future. I can't say I'll stay here forever. Everyone says something has been created almost invisibly in this theatre over 34 years. A lot of thought went into what would be the proper continuity. I didn't want to just place someone here and say, 'Here, take over.' I never talked about retirement as retirement is something forced on you by the state if you are unfortunate enough to work for the state. This has always been a private theatre… The first thing I wanted to establish – having spent all my life fighting against tradition and saying everything in the theatre must always be in a state of evolution, must always refuse to have a method, a way of working – was to avoid [appointing] a successor who would have to try and prove my line, which is against the whole life force of the theatre."