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An archive of the Hot News from 2009


Steven Berkoff East

A new adaptation of Steven Berkoff’s East will be at the Courtyard Theatre in London from 2- 29 Mar 2009.


Purgatory, a new piece, will be at the Arcola Theatre on 8 Mar 2009.


On the Waterfront in London

Following the successful performances in Nottingham and the Edinburgh Festival, On the Waterfront will now open in London.  Directed by Berkoff: "In 1950s New York, the dock workers' unions are in the stranglehold of the Mob.  If you’re on the inside then life is sweet - kickbacks, bribes and easy shifts are your rewards. Go against them and your life isn't worth living.

Berkoff On the Waterfront

Unwittingly implicated in Joey's murder, Terry starts to question where his loyalties lie. When he falls for the dead man’s beautiful sister, he enlists the help of the street-wise Father Barry to bring down the racketeers. The classic story of the guy who ‘coulda been a contender', On the Waterfront is best known for Elia Kazan's multi-Oscar winning film, starring Marlon Brando.

The London premiere is at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 29 Jan 2009 onwards.  The good news is that Berkoff acts in the play. The cast is Steven Berkoff (Johnny Friendly), Simon Merrells (Terry Malloy), Vincenzo Nicoli (Father Barry), Coral Beed (Edie Doyle), Antony Byrne (Charley Malloy), Alexander Thomas, Ian Gofton, Sean Buckley, Alex McSweeny, Dominic Grant, Alex Giannini and Gavin Marshall.

Steven Berkoff On the Waterfront


The Secret Love Life of Ophelia in Malaysia

The Secret Love Life of Ophelia is being performed in Malaysia in the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre.  The actors are Alfred Loh and Sharon Lam and the director is Christopher Ling.  It is on from 26 Feb- 8 Mar 2009.


Berkoff reading poetry

Steven Berkoff reads poems from his new collection, You Remind Me of Marilyn Monroe.  It is at Calder Bookshop in London on 13 Jan 2009.


Peter Howson

Peter Howson- click for link

Steven recommends a Scots painter. “I want everyone to get down to the new exhibition by Peter Howson, the great Scottish war artist. No other British artist approaches him but he doesn’t get the attention of those rich Hoxton painters. Perhaps because he doesn’t go twittering around town like Tracey Emin.”  You can see his work at Flowers East gallery.  Click on the image for more details.


East and Purgatory in London

Purgatory, a new piece and East will be staged as part of the third annual East Festival.  The festival runs from 5-10 Mar 2009, held in venues across east London, including the Barbican, the Arcola Theatre, and Theatre Royal Stratford East.


My East End

My East End: In Conversation with Steven Berkoff.

"Steven Berkoff shares his memories of the East End and varied stage and dramatic career. In conversation with historian, Michelle Johansen, Steven Berkoff will discuss his impressions and memories of the East End and share highlights from his highly successful and varied stage and dramatic career."

It is on 7 May 2009 at 7:30 pm in the Bishopsgate Institute.  Details are here

The Trial in Charlotte, USA

Steven Berkoff Trial - click for link

CTC Ensemble Company present The Trial directed by Mark Sutton.  It is on from 22- 24 May 2009 at the Wachovia Playhouse, Charlotte NC, USA.  These are performances for children "recommended for ages 13 and up."  Click on the image for more details.


Decadence in South Africa

Steven Berkoff Decadence - click for link

Scott Sparrow and Emily Child perform Decadence in the Intimate Theatre in Cape Town, South Africa.  The director is Christopher Weare.  It is on from 29 April- 16 May 2009.  Click on the image for more details.


Steven Berkoff talk

Steven Berkoff will be at Foyles bookshop, London on 26 May 2009 at 18:30.  Steven will be talking about his book of poetry You Remind Me of Marilyn Monroe.  Tickets are free but you need to email events@foyles.co.uk to reserve a place.


West in Portsmouth, UK

Steven Berkoff West - click for link

HumDrum theatre company present West from 9- 13 June 2009.  It is on at the Portsmouth New Theatre, UK.

"West is about courage: the courage to live according to your spirit and not the guidelines laid down for you by others, to be true to yourself, which may involve alienating others, but your truth is worth pursuing since it defines who you are." The main character's name is Mike. "Mike's truth is to live for simple principles and to put his courage where his mouth is. ... The play is an allegory about demons we must defeat but is also about London in the 1960s and specifically Stamford Hill or Hackney N16" - strutting your stuff and dancing at the Lyceum and rival gangs and their skirmishes. Mike fights the toughest gang leader of them all, not because he wants to be the biggest of them all but because he wants to break out of this way of life and wants it to be his last fight so he can go another way.

 Click on the image for more details.


East and Metamorphosis at the Edinburgh Festival

As always Berkoff is performed at the Edinburght Festival. This time you can see East and Metamorphosis.  More details soon.


Berkoff on Ronnie Biggs

Berkoff has a letter in The Sunday Times, 5 Jul 2009 about train robber Ronnie Biggs.

Biggs was one of a gang who stole millions from a train in 1963- the train driver was serious injured in the robbery. Biggs was later caught and sentenced to 30 years in jail but escaped after a year. He lived for years in Brazil and returned to Great Britain in 2001 when he was rearrested and he served his jail sentence. He recently applied for parole which was accepted by the parole board but rejected by Justice Minister Jack Straw.

Berkoff writes "...Jack Straw’s dismissal of the recommendation by the parole board for the release of an ageing and sick Ronnie Biggs can only appease the puritan and the self-righteous, and those with a lust for punishment... The sheer injustice of [a thirty year jail sentence] would compel any spirited human being to escape, which of course he did... Apparantly Biggs didn’t cringe enough or take up some worthy hobby in prison to show his reforming ways."

Berkoff also shows his shift from the Labour party "In my younger days the Labour party represented not only a dedication to justice, but also honesty, and, not least, mercy. It is plain to see that most of these qualities have been chucked out of the window".

Berkoff of course appeared in the film Prisoner of Rio about Biggs.


Graft tour

George Dillon in Graft by Berkoff

George Dillon revives his highly recommended Graft, based on Berkoff short stories.  The tour continues:
- 1 Apr 2009 Camberley Theatre, Camberley, Surrey UK
- 15 Sept 2009 Petersfield.


East in London, UK

Berkoff East - click for link

Talking Props Production present East directed by Adrian Figueroa.  It is at the Greenwich Playhouse, London from 22 Sept- 4 Oct 2009.  Click on the image for more details.


Berkoff at Poetry Olympics

Steven Berkoff will be at the Poetry Olympics in London on 10 Oct 2009.  It is at the Kennington Town Hall.  For more details click here.


Berkoff in Shakespeare's Villains

click for link

Berkoff continues the tour of his one man show Shakespeare's Villains in Lincoln on 8 Dec 2009 at the Lincoln School of Performing Arts.



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