In his book “The Shifting Point,” Peter Brook writes that when he begins work on a play, he starts with “a deep, formless hunch which is like a smell, a color, a shadow.”

Before the lights went down at Setagaya Public Theater last week, the audience buzzed in anticipation, not knowing quite what to expect but suspecting this would be “high art.” After all, this was not just any play, but an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” by Brook, a towering presence in the postwar theater world, and his Paris-based company, CICT.

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