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Sink the Belgrano!

flag Like giant whales of death they steamed ahead Where's my Foreign Secretary Pimp and get me my faithful Nit, those two defenders of Tory strength We're not going to kill anyone, we're just keeping the Argy on the run Dreaming in his icy bed until the cold has drained his heart and death sucks out his last breath

Berkoff wrote Sink the Belgrano! after the Falklands War. "It had to be written. What a story! All those statements and contradictions in the House of Commons. All those statesmen lying their heads off in the Commons".

Berkoff Sink the Belgrano!
Nanna Ingvarssonas as Maggot Scratcher

The play is in verse with many references to Shakespeare's history plays, though with Maggot Scratcher, Pimp and Nit instead of Hal, Falstaff and Hotspur. But will the play survive given that now no-one remembers Nott and Pym (Nit and Pimp)? Or will the play's broader theme rise above this and will it remain topical forever "when we've been so damned good to them/ never complained when their death squads/ got rid of opposition in mass graves/ nor publicly showed our disgust at torture".

Sink the Belgrano!




Cat Hi Steve, you're in pretty good shape for an older man Just a typical American who's on vacation and drunk just another vagina attached to a life support system Do you know Stallone? Yeah...I have to work with him OOWA´s and the cats were so thin... they looked like Hollywood starlets so I watched the soul of others- I watched and observed them from my body

Berkoff was filming Rambo and wrote the play based on minor actors in the bar getting drunk on Tequila. Berkoff played the role of Steve. Interesting but not spectacular.



Sturm und drang or confessions of a cad!

her answerphone collects my anguished words soft lips, perfume and women's sexy eyes/ on you are wasted when you see sterling rise a frightened mouse Umbrella Mutant Killer Girls Meryl Streep was so brilliant I thought, as the girl/ played as a French Jew who was brought up in Wales

A comedy of manners for three performers.



Brighton Beach ScumBags

I tell no lies A wave would pick you up like a dog wiv a bone and bung you down again on the shingle They can't help it, that's all they know red in tooth and fuckin claw Bollocks! Burger I fink she's craving a bit of pain

A disappointing play with a too obvious plot and message. A family on the beach demonstrate their low tastes and their gay prejudice. After one of them beats up a gay man a group of gays come and beat him up.

Brighton Beach Scumbags - click for link
Belinda Blanchard as Dinah in the world premiere directed by George Dillon at the Sallis Benney Theatre in Brighton, 1991.  Click on the image for the source.  Thanks to Belinda for permission to include the image.

An update: reading the play suggests a clichéd play with little interest.  Seeing it in performance changes everything.  The interaction of dialogue between the actors reveal the stagecraft of Berkoff.

In Delinquent Berkoff says "One day Dad rented a car to take us all on a trip to Brighton and as it drew past the pavilion, I was gobsmacked at my first glance of the deep blue sea; it was a perfect summer's day".

Belinda Blanchard says "I can't believe it but it was 21 years ago now.  I was just grateful to be working-  all I can recall was that George was a great fun director and very happy, and I felt a tad uncomfortable about the idea that I was taking the piss out of fat people. I always find it difficult to tell the difference between when someone is taking the piss out of fat/ uneducated/ working class people, and simply reflecting them.

One day Mr Berkoff took us all out to dinner- an Indian meal in a posh (to me) restaurant in Brighton. it was way above my budget. And we were on Equity Minimum and I don't work much. To my horror he did not pay.  That's my memory of HIM!" (email to Iain Fisher, 3 April 2012).


Dahling you were marvellous

Culture in Nineties Britain/ Sounds fab, why shelve it/ Couldn't get enough material don't forget you have some fans he slaughtered my last play/ that it could have been written by an orang utang/ that's not so bad do you think I should play Macbeth/ You'd be marvellous darling we're doing a charity concert for starving kids in Calcutta, there'll be a triffic party afterwards Dancer

A TV play with a large cast, the camera moves from table to table in a restaurant, eavesdropping here and there, like one of Altman's extended takes. Berkoff says it was a parody on the theatrical chattering set, people with "little substance of their own". One of these is Steve, Berkoff´s alter ego on stage.

Dahling you were marvelous



6 charactors in search of a Playwright Director

Six charactrors in search of a director

Steven Berkoff's new play is 6 Actors in Search of a Director (the title is of course a nod to Pirandello's play).  It is "a bird's eye view of the film industry".

The try out was in the Odyssey Theatre is LA, USA.  It was directed by Berkoff and the actors were Jan Broberg, Oliver Cowley, Paul Darrigo, Courtney DeCosky, Jase Lindgren, Elizabeth Southard and Michael Tatlock.

The premiere was in the Charing Cross Theatre, London on 16 May 2012 with Neil Stuke, Philip Voss, Andrée Bernard, Sarah Chamberlain, Ruth Everett,  and Paul Trussell as the actors and Jonathan Sidgwick plays the role of the director.  The actual director was Berkoff.

It is a comedy set on a film location: "Six actors are on a movie set waiting for their call. Until then, they are in limbo, needing the director to bring them to life. He does this merely by using the one magic word - Action!"



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