Since 1979, Londoners wanting to see Peter Brook's work have had to resort to planes, boats and trains, bound for Glasgow, Paris or beyond. So his current residency at the National Theatre is cause for celebration.

His landmark productions for the RSC, including Marat/Sade (1964) and the circus-inspired A Midsummer Night's Dream (1970) led to him achieving the status of a critical yardstick. Every trendy director worth his or her salt has been dubbed 'the best director since Peter Brook'.

In the Seventies, he moved to Paris and formed his own company of performers from widely differing cultures. They toured remote villages in the Sahara with The Conference of the Birds, and in a quarry outside Avignon he produced his celebrated nine-hour epic The Mahabharata.

Young directors across the land have scoured his manifesto The Empty Space for inspiration but requests to observe his working methods have traditionally been rebuffed. Brook (right) believes they should be doing rather than watching. Happily, during his run at the National, he and his company have agreed to hold a series of meetings/workshops at the NT Studio for a hand-picked group of directors and actors.

The 18-performance run of The Man Who is the hottest ticket since Streisand, but day seats are available from 10am. Queue early. Details: 071-928 2252

(Photograph omitted)

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