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Steven Berkoff

STEVEN BERKOFF

  (1937 - )

Nationality:    British
email:    Click here to contact     Website:    Click here

Literary Agent:    Rosica Colin Ltd  

Steven Berkoff was born in Stepney, London. after studying Drama and mime in London and Paris, he entered a series of repertory companies and in 1968 formed the London Theatre Group. His plays and adaptations have been performed in many countries and in many languages. among the many adaptations Berkoff has created for the stage, directed and toured, are Kafka's Metamorphosis and the Trial, agamemnon after aeschylus, and Poe's the Fall of the House of Usher. He has directed and toured productions of Shakespeare's Coriolanus also playing the title role, Richard II, Hamlet and Macbeth, as well as Oscar Wilde's Salome. Berkoff's original stage plays include east, West, Messiah: Scenes from a Crucifixion, the Secret Love Life of Ophelia, Decadence, Harry's Christmas, Massage, acapulco and Brighton Beach Scumbags. He has performed his trilogy of solo shows, One Man, Shakespeare's Villains and Requiem for Ground Zero, in venues all over the world. Films Steven has acted in include a Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, Octopussy, Beverly Hills Cop, Rambo, Under the Cherry Moon, absolute Beginners and the Krays. He directed and co- starred with Joan Collins in the film version of his play Decadence. He has published a variety of books on the Theatre such as the production journals I am Hamlet, Meditations on Metamorphosis and Coriolanus in DeutscHLAnd. Berkoff's work has led him to traverse the globe, and his love for travel is apparent in his book Shopping in the Santa Monica Mall: the Journals of a Strolling Player.
www.stevenberkoff.com

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below is a list of Steven Berkoff's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

        6 Characters In Search Of A Director         Acapulco         Actor         Actor's Lament, An         Agamemnon         Berkoff's Loners         Berkoff's Women         Biblical Stories         Blood Accusation Charge, The         Bow Of Ulysses, The         Brighton Beach Scumbags         Dahling You Were Marvellous         Decadence         Dog         Dream Of A Ridiculous Man, The         East         Fall Of the House Of Usher, The         Graft         Greek         Harry's Christmas         Hell         House Of Usher, The         In Flagranti         In the Penal Colony         Judgement, The, Knock At the Manor Gate, The Bucket Rider         Kvetch         Lunch         Massage         Master Of Cafe Society         Messiah, The: Scenes From A Crucifixion         Metamorphosis         Miss Julie Versus Expressionism         Mr Prufrock's Songs         Murder Of Jesus Christ         Oedipus         One Man Performance         Penal Colony, The         Purgatory         Religion And Anarchy         Requiem For Ground Zero         Ritual In Blood         Salome         Say A Prayer For Me         Scumbags         Secret Life Of Ophelia         Shakespeare's Villains         Silent Night         Sink the Belgrano         Sit And Shiver         Stunning the Punters         Sturm Und Drang Or Confessions Of A Cad!         Tell-Tale Heart         Toss Pots         Trial, The         West Or Welcome To Dalston Junction



6 Characters In Search Of A Director

Synopsis:
the play is set on a movie location set where six characters are waiting for their call, left in limbo until a director brings them to life with the word "action".

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
3the play is set on a movie location set where six characters are waiting for their call, left in limbo until a director brings them to life with the word "action".16 May 20124    16 May 2012

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
comedy

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  3            Other:  -

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Acapulco

Synopsis:
acapulco rolls off the tip of the tongue and sounds like an exotic Mexican dish; mysterious, hot and desirable. I stayed in a hotel on the beach and watched the toilet paper float in shreds since the hurricane had tossed the resort into a giant sordid milk shake and everything was floating out there. Only the Mexicans swam while the white tourists lay around the hotel pools roasting themselves or getting drunk on tequila in the bar. I was there to act Sylvester Stallone's Nemesis in Rambo Two. His mission in the film was to investigate missing POWs. the actors playing the POWs sat in the bar each night and recounted their story of the day. they were small part players with the grand ambitions of life and each event that encompassed their world or touched them was the subject of much analysis. I waited for my moment of triumph in the film but it was not to be. It was a sordid, boring affair with long hours eaten away with ennui watching the endless set-ups being prepared.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Los Angeles    1986

Company:
-

1st Published:
Faber and Faber, London, 1986   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Actor

Synopsis:
I was, on the recommendation of my friend John Joyce, looking for material for a one-man show. One doodles as the information bubbles away in the unconscious and suddenly there is an eruption which seems to be feeding from a deep current of energy within. Years of struggle, unemployment, auditions, begging letters, agents, directors who didn't re-employ, self-loathing, disappointment, lack of courage, self-worth, self-pity leading to paranoia, neurosis etc. - this is the life of an actor as he tries not only to express the best part of himself but is condemned or rejected as part of his daily life. It is a harrowing profession while you are in the pleading position. So these thoughts store themselves in what seem small compartments in your mind, festering away like a compost heap and suddenly there is a break in the soil. I was partly inspired by a Marcel Marceau sketch where he walks apparently on the spot forever and the world passes him by.

Notes:
consisting of 14 short telephone conversations.

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
in "Plays 2" Faber, London, 1994   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Short Play One act

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

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Actor's Lament, An

Synopsis:
Steven Berkoff stars with Jay Benedict and Andree Bernard in this glimpse backstage, lifting the curtain on the bizarre and often hilarious world of theatre. From precious playwrights and dictator directors to the good will (or otherwise) of the critics - a maze of thickets the actor must negotiate before they ever reach the stage. A comedy about the bizarre lives of actors and the many fights, frustrations. . .and madnesss they are prone to.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Main Hall - Assembly Hall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe    01 Aug 2013

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
comedy

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Agamemnon

Synopsis:
agamemnon is about energy of a different kind, but overlaps with my play east. It is filtered through my own impression of Greece and is rooted more in the elements of landscape and sea.. It is also about heat and battle, fatigue, the marathon and the obscenity of modern and future wars. Naturally it is about the body and its pleasures and pains. I followed aeschylus but chose to take my own route from time to time. events smudge into each other and I have used from the Feast of atreus the ghastly origins of the curse. This is a suitable horrific beginning, though horror was not what I wanted but a revelation of the crime. I described it as if it had happened to me.the final text evolved after a long workshop series during which the actors turned themselves into athletes, soldiers, horses and chorus. the text was chanted, spoken, sung, and simply acted, l am really grateful to two actors (Wolf Kahler and Barry Philips) who started the first day (sometime in April 1973) and finished with me on the 21st august.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Aeschylus

1st Produced:
London    1971

Company:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1977   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  Large Cast

Further Reference:
-

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Berkoff's Loners

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
BAC Studio 1, London    2000

Company:
In association with Spoke Productions

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Devised Piece

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Berkoff's Women

Synopsis:
compilation of some of the most rewarding, exciting moments of Berkoff's female roles, featuring excerpts from "Decadence", "Greek", "east", "agamemnon", "Sturm Und Drang", plus a newly Dramatised story "From My Point of View.

Notes:
performed by Linda Marlowe

1st Produced:
Assembly Rooms - Edinburgh    Aug 1999

Company:
In association with Spoke Productions

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Devised Piece

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Biblical Stories

Synopsis:
adapting biblical stories in inventive and surprising ways these adult themed stories are thought provoking and entertaining. adam & eve, Samson & Delilah, David & Goliath and Moses & Pharaoh are all re-imagined with a 21st century interpretation.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Blood Accusation Charge, The

Synopsis:
the myth of a Lincoln story set in 1920

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Unproduced    -

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Jewish Ritual Murder

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Bow Of Ulysses, The

Synopsis:
Like James Joyce's Finnegans Wake the play is cyclical as it states at the end of the text: fading out as the story continues forever

Notes:
Sequel to Lunch

1st Produced:
Rosemary Branch, London    30 Jan 2001

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Brighton Beach Scumbags

Synopsis:
I was walking along the Brighton promenade one weekend afternoon when I heard a rather corpulent lady screeching at a couple of heads that peeked over the deckchairs facing the sea, 'WHaT D'Ya WaNT ON YOUR BLeeDIN' HUMBURGeRS?'. . . It was the primitive battle-cry of Dagenham or Romford, it curdled the air with its reek of deep loathing, frustration and hatred. the sea draws all to its comforting hypnotic rolling surf and to the memories of childhood and innocence and a belief that all will be well at the bland soothing coast with its aura of freedom from toil and possibility of fun. the contrast and disappointment creates a kind of dumb fury that things are not always what you hope they will be. So these two couples embark on Brighton beach with their dreams of the past competing with the reality of the present. they are British archetypes representing a programmed beast that at heart is still innocent in its beliefs but has been corroded by the deadening effects of a rotten sub-culture, cheap tabloids

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
in "Plays 2" Faber, London, 1994   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Dahling You Were Marvellous

Synopsis:
I tried to write a TV play set in a watering hole. that caters for the theatrical chattering set. I modelled it on Orso's, a popular and very good London restaurant. It follows an evening after a first night at the theatre and it was an attempt to parody those precious dahlings and those utterly self-important creatures whose lives desperately depend on the outside world to give them form and shape, adulation and importance, having very little substance of their own. they float in an ether of seriousness that they believe wafts from their every utterance but they are well-meaning in their theatre babble. It was very tempting to parody certain figures and the fun is trying to identify who they might be. their lives are demarcated by the slogans posing as wisdom which they emit and the narcissism which is their philosophy. I have not hesitated to use myself in the rogue's gallery of frauds since one easily slides along the muddy road from time to time and it can be difficult to extricate oneself.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    -

Company:
-

1st Published:
in "Plays 2" Faber, London, 1994   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
TV Play

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  Large Cast

Further Reference:
-

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Decadence

Synopsis:
Decadence is a study of the ruling classes or upper classes, so called by virtue of the strangulated vowel tones rather than any real achievement. the voice is caught in the back of the throat and squashed so as to release as little emotion as possible, Consonants are hard and biting, since emotion is carried on the vowel. the upper class slur the vowel or produce a glottal stop, which by closing down of the glottis creates an impure vowel - as in 'hice' for 'house'. they move in awkward rapid gestures or quick jerks and sometimes speak at rapid speeds to avoid appearing to have any feeling for what they say. they achieve pleasure very often in direct relation to the pain they cause in achieving it. Particularly in causing intolerable suffering to achieve exquisite pates, boiling lobsters alive with other crustaceans and hunting down defenseless animals to give them (the hunters) a sense of purpose on Sundays. Creating the play was a desire to let loose the fantasies that inspired unbridled indulgence.

Notes:
published privately by Berkoff 1981

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1982   -

Music:
-

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If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Dog

Synopsis:
a day in the life of yet another strange beast whose energy still attracts one to define and examine. a man with his dog, but a pitbull, one of those creatures I had been reading about, or, should I say, had forced down my gullet as ravage after ravage appeared in the papers as the beasts tore into innocent young flesh. It seemed to go with the British low-class yob culture more prevalent in the Thatcher years as class-division widened and the social fabric decayed. It went with the pub, obsessive drunkenness, football and xenophobia. So this is a comedy of manners if you like, performed by a sirnple direct, strong, unconfused guardian of British morality. the dog merely amplifies the insane and undirected energy of its owner. Curiously, his beliefs are not vague or confused but are held with dedication and conviction which makes him in a way repulsively aTTRaCTIVe.

Notes:
aka Pitbull

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
in "Plays 2" Faber, London, 1994   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Short Play One act

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Dream Of A Ridiculous Man, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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East

Synopsis:
east was written to exorcise certain demons struggling within me to escape. east takes place within my personal memory and experience and is less a biographical text than an outburst of revolt against the sloth of my youth and a desire to turn a welter of undirected passion and frustration into a positive form. I wanted to liberate that time squandered and sometimes enjoyed into a testament to youth and energy. It is a scream or a shout of pain. It is revolt. there is no holding back or reserve in the east end of youth as I remember. . . you lived for the moment and vitally held it. . . you said what you thought and did what you felt. If something bothered you, you let it out as strongly as you could, as if the outburst could curse and therefore purge what ever it was that caused it. One strutted and posed down the Lyceum Strand, the Mecca of our world, performed a series of rituals that let people know who and what you were, and you would fight to the death to defend that particular life style that was your own.

Notes:
elegy for London's east end And its energetic waste

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1977   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Fall Of the House Of Usher, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
Short Story by edgar Allan Poe

1st Produced:
Edinburgh    1974

Company:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1977   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Graft

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
from the book by Stephen Berkoff

1st Produced:

Company:
Vital Theatre

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Greek

Synopsis:
Greek came to me via Sophocles, trickling its way down the millennia until it reached the unimaginable wastelands of Tufnell Park - a land more fantasised than real, being an amalgam of the deadening war zones that some areas of London had become. Tufnell Park was just a word to play with - like our low comedians play with the sound of east Cheam for example - so no real offence to the inhabitants. In my eyes, Britain seemed to have become a gradually decaying island, preyed upon by the wandering hordes who saw no future for themselves in a society which had few ideals or messages to offer them. the violence that streamed through the streets, like an all-pervading effluence, the hideous Saturday night fever as the pubs belched out their dreary occupants, the killing and maiming at public sports, plus the casual slaughtering of political opponents in Northern Ireland, bespoke a society in which an emotional plague had taken root.

Notes:
published privately by Berkoff 1980

1st Produced:
Arts Theatre, London    1980

Company:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1982   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Harry's Christmas

Synopsis:
there are many people for whom Christmas comes attended by the terrors of isolation, loneliness and enforced camaraderie. For the sociable it is a time for the mad scramble to organize as many encounters as possible lest we drop points in the stakes of popularity. With the innate laziness which has become part of the British heritage Christmas now seems to go on endlessly, engulfing New Year and more monstrous clambering on to the wagon of joyless mirth. Christmas was never a festival I would particularly look forward to and those without families, separated, bereaved or just congenitally introverted find the spotlight of Christmas exposes a false sense of worth or an exaggerated sense of worthlessness as the meagre cards are counted. Harry is one of those whom the buffets of the world has left stranded on a barren shore and he is dealing with it for the last time. But it is an amalgam of many of us. I played this play at the Donmar theatre in 1985/6 and no play I have done received so many responses from people.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
Faber and Faber, London, 1985   -

Music:
-

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If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Solo Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Hell

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Tale

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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House Of Usher, The

Synopsis:
Man changes into the house he has inhabited

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Hamstead Theatre Club, London    1974

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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In Flagranti

Synopsis:
Man and woman meet in park, hate and then love. Strong textual imagery, beginning of Berkoff prose style

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Prose Style

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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In the Penal Colony

Synopsis:
an explorer (the outsider) is given a demonstration of a torture instrument by the officer. the prisoner, who cannot speak their language, watches on as the officer describes with pride the instrument that he and the former Commandant developed.

Notes:
story by Kafka, Aka the Penal Settlement

1st Produced:
London    1968

Company:
-

1st Published:
in "Three Theatre adaptations from FrANZ Kafka", Amber Lane, Oxford, 1988   -

Music:
-

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Booksellers:

Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Judgement, The, Knock At the Manor Gate, The Bucket Rider

Synopsis:
Berkoff does staged reading of Kafka´s works such as the Judgement and very short writings such as Knock at the Manor Gate. Originally a collection of Kafka´s minor writings including the Bucket Rider were performed together as a prologue to Metamorphosis.

Notes:
story by Kafka

1st Produced:
Falmer, Surrey    1972

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Kvetch

Synopsis:
We all live under the shadow of the bomb - cancer - carcinogens - illness - unemployment - impotence - fear of fear - blacks whites - police - rates - income tax - parking tickets - forgetting our lines - losing money - making too much money - losing hair getting fat - getting ugly - being stupid - being unwitty - being shy - being foolish - worry about which stereo speakers - how to fix a car - a bike - learning the piano - fear of failing - not impressing - fear of others' strength - fear of weakness - fear of being exposed - not getting to work in time - not having a pension - security - old age - dying - war - injury in road accidents - fear of blindness - deafness - of not understanding the joke - fear of tough people - fear to take risks - fear to swim - to jump - to dive off a board - fear of disease - fear of moving - fear to sell - fear to buy - obsessional fear of spiders - dark cupboards - knives - muggers - fear of people - parties - crowds - clever people - fear of speaking your mind.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Odyssey Theatre, Los Angeles    1986

Company:
-

1st Published:
Faber and Faber, London, 1986   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
American Play about anxiety

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Lunch

Synopsis:
Two people meet on a bench in a park near the sea. It could be anywhere. the man sells the most humiliating item of uselessness that he could find to foist on to the public . . . space. He sells space in one of those cheap magazines that nobody has ever heard of. I did this once. the magazine would put the names of established and famous firms inside their pages to convince the innocent small printers and tradesmen to buy a half page. I trundled round Stoke Newington with the papers and forms in my briefcase. It was a good old life. I lasted one day. So naturally I used this experience to describe my growing awareness of the space in my own life and this profession seemed an apt metaphor for the male who is hollow and tries to give himself to the woman, who quickly realises the void within him but not altogether void. It's filled with the debris of expected performance, vanity, shallowness and sexual exploitation. Through their mutual catharsis the man learns how easy it is to be honest and reveal himself.

Notes:
In 2001 Berkoff wrote A sequel to the play, the Bow of Ulysses, with the same characters

1st Produced:
Rosemary Branch, London    30 Jan 2001

Company:
-

1st Published:
Faber and Faber, London, 1985   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
40 minutes Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

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Massage

Synopsis:
Massage is just another investigation into one of those delightful phenomena of the British way of life along with Wimpy bars, Boots the Chemist, the comer pub, Chinese take-away, chicken tandoori and the newspaper shop, all vying for attention in your average street and round the comer the latest, although not so new. Massage Parlour where your average bloke goes and gets what is endearingly called 'relief, being a simple wank aided by some viscous lubricant. 'Relief is a choice epithet to describe the British way of sex as if the male had a painful itch or wound and needed some medical aid. the play is a bit of fun with the concept of the massage parlour as the sanctuary for men who come tormented and distraught and are sent away renewed by the dextrous hands of the woman who then reveals herself as a truly liberated female, having to deal with what would appear to be almost a subspecies of the human race, the male. Her role is the stronger of the two since she wields the power and is the possessor of the man.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Edinburgh Festival    1987

Company:
-

1st Published:
Faber and Faber, London, 1987   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Sexual Comedy Comedy

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Master Of Cafe Society

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Messiah, The: Scenes From A Crucifixion

Synopsis:
I began writing Messiah with the desire in mind to describe what a human being must have suffered on the cross, from their point of view so to speak. I saw this as a beginning rather than an end, since this is the image foremost in mind. I was not attempting to create an alternative point of view based on research, new theories or recent discoveries. Mine was an attempt to tell the story based on my own reactions to the Gospels and to foresee its links to the future. However, during the time of writing I came across the Passover Plot, a remarkable book by Dr Hugh Schonfield (who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1959) which fitted in with some of my own attitudes towards Jesus. Schonfield viewed the myth as more human than Godlike and evolved a remarkable theory based on much research and painstaking detail; the plot was in fact concocted by Jesus himself who engineers his own martyrdom since he sought to redeem the Jews and felt he could only do this through Messianic intervention.

Notes:
also called Impressions of A Crucifixion And the Murder of Jesus Christ

1st Produced:
Edinburgh Festival    2000

Company:
-

1st Published:
in Steven Berkoff Plays 3, Faber and Faber, London, 2000   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Metamorphosis

Synopsis:
I came to Kafka on reading Metamorphosis. I saw in him the most marvelous exertions of the imagination working inside the desperation of a strangled soul, this frightened human being - and thereby releasing its horrors. He touched me in all my chords of being from grotesque to simple, sublime humanity. No other writer quite manages this with the same power and insight. a skeletal framework of steel scaffolding suggesting an abstract sculpture of a giant insect is stretched across the stage this serves as a home of the family or carapace. the stage is void of all props - everything is mimed - apart from three black stools (metal) situated equidistant downstage for the family to use. the scaffolding narrows at the back, containing in its centre Gregor's room or cage. He is on a small ramp (2' 6") suggesting always that Gregor is hovering above the family. He is always watching-forever aware. the living quarters that the family use are demarcated by sharply lit areas.

Notes:
story by Kafka

1st Produced:
Round House, London    1969

Company:
-

1st Published:
Amber Lane Press, ambergate, Derbyshire, 1981   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Miss Julie Versus Expressionism

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
London    1973

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Mr Prufrock's Songs

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
aka Lunch

1st Produced:
London    1974

Company:
-

1st Published:
Faber and Faber, London, 1985   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Murder Of Jesus Christ

Synopsis:
Jesus as a conspiracy figure

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Unproduced    -

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Jewish Ritual Murder

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Oedipus

Synopsis:
My version of Oedipus seeks to examine the play and occasionally peer beneath the tendency to strut and pose, to high-blown rhetoric and an air of self-importance somehow unavoidable in versions of Greek tragedy. I also sought to relate some events to images of today since the greatness of Greek tragedy is that its themes deal with the power of natural forces and the cycle of life and death. So its shadow lies across the years and its arguments are mankind's into perpetuity. I see Oedipus as a modern man, self-made, tough and bold, who uses language as a weapon to cut through verbal adiposity and obliqueness. He is more of a strutter whose stance relates to him having always to battle against some force determined to defeat him. Whether at the crossroads where he destroyed his Father and the officious guards, or the Sphinx, he seeks to combat fate and leaves his adopted home so as not to fall into its predicted trap. So when yet another problem in thebes raises its many heads Oedipus is already fight trained.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Sophocles. Premiered An Amateur production of the piece in 2008 At the South Hill Park Arts Centre, London

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
in Steven Berkoff Plays 3, Faber and Faber, London, 2000   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  1            Other:  doubling, extras

Further Reference:
-

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One Man Performance

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Three Monologues:

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Penal Colony, The

Synopsis:
an execution is to take place

Notes:
from Kafka short story

1st Produced:
Arts Laboratory, London    1968

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Purgatory

Synopsis:
Inspired by the eclectic characters of the east end, three multi-award winning writers investigate the streets where these characters roam and uncover their secrets in an hour of new theatre especially curated for eaST09 Festival.

Notes:
Play east: Part of Cycle east, east Festival09. A £5 triple bill of plays in 1 hour of east end theatrical magic. Purgatory by Steven Berkoff; the List by David eldrige; Flowers In Her Hair by Rebecca Lenkiewicz

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
short play

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Religion And Anarchy

Synopsis:
the plays 'Guilt', 'Roast', 'Line-Up', 'How to Train an Anti-Semite' and 'Gas' centre around the theme of the latent anti-Semitism still prevailing within Britain. A prejudice that, despite the cataclysmic events of the twentieth-century, refuses to go away and continues to infuse the very heart of the society in which we live.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
5 one act plays

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Requiem For Ground Zero

Synopsis:
at that period of time I had been trying to get dates for my play Messiah: Scenes from a Crucifixion (Fringe award winner in 2000), and naturally had been turned down by every subsidised theatre in London. So we toured Britain and we opened Messiah in Oxford at the Oxford Playhouse the night of the twin tower disaster. the play was timely you might say and the inflamed passions and pain that most people felt that day were to some extent assuaged by being able to identify with another tragedy. I found myself penning this poem as if there were a need in me to give something to it; to mourn and at the same time to pay homage, to grieve and to also express rage, anger, fury, compassion and ultimately, understanding. I take no sides but merely try to express the atmosphere of the time. . . take the temperature so to speak. . . Try to imagine what it was like being on a plane hijacked by terrorists and using your mobile phone to make your last calls to your wife. . . the horror of the situation where normally we feel so safe.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
assembly Rooms, Edinburgh    2002

Company:
-

1st Published:
Amber Lane Press, ambergate, Derbyshire, 2002   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Staged Poem

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Ritual In Blood

Synopsis:
Ritual murder is one of the most monstrous charges that has ever been leveled against the Jewish race. apparently the first recorded charge took place in england, in Norwich, in 1144. From thence it spread to France and Germany. the basis of the charge is that the Jews sought to murder and disembowel a Christian child in mockery of the crucifixion and then use its blood in secret ceremonies or for the Passover wafers. although there is nothing in contemporary Jewish law, mythology or mysticism or folklore that requires human or animal blood, this did not deter any opportunist from pointing the finger at the Jews and inspiring a real blood bath. So in one sense the paradox is that the reverse was true. It was their detractors who sought blood, and plenty of it! Jews were frequently 'bled' dry for their money and taxed intolerably, but not too much to prevent them from earning more and becoming a convenient Cash cow' to be milked whenever a crime could be pinned on them.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
in Steven Berkoff Plays 3, Faber and Faber, London, 2000   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  Large Cast

Further Reference:
-

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Salome

Synopsis:
Berkoff says "I decided the stage should be bare and allow the words to bounce of the hard surfaces without being softened or cushioned".

Notes:
Original Playwright - Oscar Wilde

1st Produced:
-    -

Company:
-

1st Published:
in "Plays 2" Faber, London, 1994   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Say A Prayer For Me

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Scumbags

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    -

Company:
-

1st Published:
in "Plays 2" Faber, London, 1994   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Secret Life Of Ophelia

Synopsis:
Hamlet and Ophelia express the infinite variety of their passion in a work which takes the form of an epistolary play in verse. Steven Berkoff's startlingly original new play charts the lovers' story beneath the surface of Shakespeare's play. With a muscularity of language tempered with tenderness, Berkoff's play is shot through with images of courtly love, sexual desire and intimations of future tragedy. the chill of the ending perfectly offsets the preceding violent heat. another unique piece of work from Steven Berkoff.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
Faber and Faber, London,    -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Shakespeare's Villains

Synopsis:
Shakespeare's villains are intended to make us feel good about ourselves and also to determine and strengthen our values and commitment to justice and humanity. Once we have branded a villain as such, we (might) share his desires to a point and can identify elements of our baser natures in his or hers. the villain enables us to vicariously enjoy his lust, greed, power, and hunger but then to finally condemn it. He purges us of these thrilling, illegal and immoral sensations. We do it via our imagination. the villain's final extinction means we are acquitted of sin since our sins are killed with him. the shades of villainy are vast and various, and Shakespeare is clever enough to show cause, motive and justification so that we might venture along for the ride for a while and not immediately condemn them since then there would be no play. Does not Shylock say in his great famous plea for basic and equal rights. . . 'Hath not a Jew eyes. . .?' etc. Richard III shares with us his ugliness and deformity. . .

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Theatre Royal, Haymarket    1998

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Silent Night

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Canal Cafe, London    1998

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Sink the Belgrano

Synopsis:
It had to be written. What a story! all those statements and contradictions in the House of Commons. all those 'statesmen' lying their little heads off in the Commons, and then when the facts emerged having to contradict themselves. What a pack of fakes, and what a disgusting bunch of rogues. It is apparent to everyone that the sinking of the Belgrano was a very dubious affair and led to severe attacks on the British Fleet and subsequent huge loss of life. How many people realise that before that calculated piece of sabotage not one British soldier had died! after unloosing that torpedo, under orders not from the submarine Conqueror but from england, on a ship way outside the demilitarised zone all havoc broke loose. It was a calculated gamble to end the war at a stroke and failed miserably. My play deals with the situation as I found it and was inspired by the book by arthur Gavshon and Desmond Rice. I met Desmond on New Year's eve in 1984 and, mutually expressing our disgust at the incident of the Belgrano.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Half Moon Theatre, London    1986

Company:
-

1st Published:
Faber and Faber, London, 1987   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Verse Satire

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  1            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
-

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Sit And Shiver

Synopsis:
Warm-hearted tribute to Jewish family life and its eating habits.
Kieron Quirke, evening Standard

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
Presented by Brian Daniels in association with Saw Productions

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Stunning the Punters

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
Compendium of pieces by Berkoff, Dostoyevsky And Robert Sproat, performed nby George Dillon

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Sturm Und Drang Or Confessions Of A Cad!

Synopsis:
Mutant Killer Girls, Meryl Streep as the girl/ played as a French Jew who was brought up in Wales

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, London, 2005   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Comedy of Manners

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Tell-Tale Heart

Synopsis:
a solo piece performed along with Pitbull and actor. Poe´s tale is a psychological monologue of a murderer confronted with the police

Notes:
story byedgar Allan Poe

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Short Play One act

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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Toss Pots

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Fringe Network Studio, Fitzroy, VIC    04 Apr 1990

Company:
Gas Theatre

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
play

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
http://www.ausstage.edu.au/pages/event/91342

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Trial, The

Synopsis:
What is K's, alias Kafka's, guilt? Nothing so complex as world guilt or messianic martyrdom. But K's guilt, for which he must die, is the guilt of betrayal: the guilt of betraying his inner spirit to the safety of mediocrity, For every action that is not expressed through fear, for every desire that wells up in the breast and is not given vent in action through fear turns into a little rat of guilt that gnaws away at your vitals. For every shout held back, for every venture not ventured on, for every regret in the soul, for every compromise you make and slur you took adds to the sorry storehouse of guilt that screams out for justice. the soul screams out for vengeance, starved as it is in its dark and stinking hovel. Guilt is the difference between what your spirit sings out for and what your courage permits you to take. man is waiting ther

Notes:
novel by Kafka

1st Produced:
Netherlands    1971

Company:
-

1st Published:
Amber Lane Press, ambergate, Derbyshire, 1981   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  2            Other:  extras

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West Or Welcome To Dalston Junction

Synopsis:
West was first performed at the Donmar Warehouse, Covent Garden, in May 1983. That was its world premiere, although I believe a version was performed in Wagga Wagga, Australia, three years before, in 1980. But they had tampered with the text and even included a scene from east, thus disqualifying themselves from being the first to present West. east, my play about the east end from a young hero's point of view, was the first of a series which, naturally, inspired West. the BBC actually commissioned it and then found it not quite dull enough for television - much to my delight, as I was then able to stage it at a later date. Limehouse Productions and Ian albery sponsored its first showing in London, and Limehouse have filmed it for television at the time of writing, so I hope that as West played before its thousands, it will soon play before its millions.

Notes:
may have been performed in 1980 in Wagga Wagga, Australia

1st Produced:

Company:
-

1st Published:
Faber and Faber, London, 1985   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  7            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:

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