TV/film/ video/ DVD
A DVD capturing
Berkoff´s stage version of Shakespeare's Coriolanus. Berkoff plays Coriolanus, a hero
without the common touch.
Berkoff directs himself
and Joan Collins is a film version of his own play.
The directing is poor,
with Berkoff unable to capture the dynamics of a
film, as distinct from the filming of a play. The
sharpness of the play and effectiveness of the
same couple playing both roles are missing. This
film probably removed any possible future work as a film director.
In terms of acting Joan Collins is
very good- it would be interesting to see her on
stage handle other Berkoff roles- and Berkoff himself has some
good moments, particularly in the restaurant scene.
choice to play
beside Berkoff was Linda Marlowe but the studio rejected her,
and they also rejected Miranda Richardson and Helen Mirren (info
A live filming of the 25th anniversary revival
at the Vaudeville Theatre, London in November 1999.
Berkoff directs but does not act. Matthew Cullum is
Christopher Middleton is Mike,
Tanya Frank is Sylv,
Jonathan Linsley is dad
and Edward Bryant (a man) plays mum.
The play is a definitive performance, with the words and
actions blending. The mime is always beautiful and at
times spectacular. The sparse music, a piano played by
Simon Sharp, is effective. Recommended.
Greek, an opera 1988
An opera by Mark-Anthony Turnage based on
Berkoff´s play Greek. As well as a video (now out of
print) the opera is available on CD.
The opera works well with the mixture of East
London and Greek Mythology fitting under Turnage´s
music. If you like modern classical music and opera (as I
do) you will like this adaptation.
Turnage says: I just got stuck into cutting
Berkoff's play and setting the lines almost as soon as
I'd cut them. It was a strange way of working. Greek is a
very wordy play, and the language is unbelievable - the
opera libretto's tame by comparison. I had to match that
language, that extraordinary combination of Shakespeare,
colloquial English and cockney, and the sort of seaside
humour that suddenly becomes incredibly lyrical.
In Free Association Berkoff says
"[Harry's Christmas] was commissioned to open the
new Limehouse TV studios on the Isle of Dogs".
However because of its subject, suicide, it was never shown.
Berkoff plays the father in this TV version
of his play. Tim Roth is Gregor, with Linda Marlowe as
the mother. Strangely this filming relegates the
metal framework of the staging to the background
(literally) so removing a lot of the physical acting and
energy. The result is a poor stagebound
production.Directed by Jim Goddard in 1986.
A site visitor says "Metamorphosis film
was very badly acted; the actors were all very
naturalistic and were not really very grotesque at all".
Filmed for television in the Ginza Saison
Theatre, Tokyo in 1992. Directed by Berkoff who
plays Herod. Salome is played by Myriam Cyr, Herodias by
Carmen du Sautoy and Jokanaan (John the Baptist) by Mark Lewis.
Salome is performed in slow motion, characters
wafting across stage, as every word is savoured.
The video includes 10 minutes of Berkoff
talking of the play "the language is like music and
its very unusual to find a play which devotes itself to
such intense poetic expression". Strangely Berkoff
does not mention that the words are translations, Wilde
having written the play in French. Berkoff also says
"the play is about passion...conflict...people who
love without restrictions. Recommended.
man show on DVD, directed by Frank Howson
(who worked with Berkoff on the film Flynn). The films differs
from the stage performance, omitting most of the Shakespeare
performances and concentrating on the (superior) comments by Berkoff.
version of Harry's Christmas for British Channel 4.
Tell Tale Heart 1991
Berkoff stars in the
one-man performance of Poe's story. A television
production for British Channel 4 directed by Jon Felix.
Tell-Tale Heart 2002
Berkoff´s solo performance of Poe's
Tell-Tale Heart is available on video. It was
filmed at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town in November
2002. It was shot for the video, with lots of
close-ups and playing to the camera. It also
includes a short interview with Steven about the
Trial adapted and staged by Berkoff.
production by Berkoff of the play for Channel 4. It was
originally commissioned, then rejected, by the BBC.
Eat Dolink!, the first
of two films directed by Berkoff in 2017. Here Berkoff visits three
restaurants, and reminisces about food, particularly Jewish food, his
mother and father, Holywood and animal cruelty.
Like a discussion
with someone in a restaurant where the discussion moves in and out of
Berkoff and his
of food to Jews living in harsh conditions, so whenever there was extra
food it would be pickled to preserve it.
He talks of how
his grandfather or father (he was not sure which) changed the name from
Berkovich to Berks, a name he hated, so he changed it partially back to
did camerawork as well as editing and direction. The restaurants
were Canter's Deli, Greenblatts Deli-Restaurant and Musso and Frank Grill.
from the DVD of the film.
Vencie Beach, the second
of two films Berkoff directed and released in 2017, this concentrates on
the poor and homeless in Venice Beach. 1 hour 15 minutes, with Tim
Shiner credited initially as producer, and later as Cameraman and Editor.
has come to Venice Beach every year since 1980 but he regrets it is no
longer the seeding ground for new talent, with few performers around
(Sebastian Seagraves on tightrope).
taks with compassion to the poor and homeless, such as Marc, a former
gold miner, with his nose needing medical treatment, and he reveals to a
suprised Berkoff that he is blind...
... and Gary who says that now for the
homeless like him they have to piss in a pot (to test for drugs) in
order to get his benefits.
people don't recognise Berkoff,
but one group say they heard he was in films, and Berkoff eventually
mentions Beverly Hills Cop and Rambo. One person then says he
recognises Berkoff from The Krays.
from the DVD of the film.
Harvey, Berkoff's one-man play about disgraced film
producer Harvey Weinstein, filmed in 2019.
Berkoff takes the role of Weinstein waiting for trial
Berkoff directed the play, and the film is directed by Mark Ayres.
from the DVD of the film.