24th Aug to 3rd Sep 2005
by Steven Berkoff
Directed by Derek Doddington

University Theatre, Arts Centre, Christchurch

A ‘Love Story’ and comedy which will have you laughing from start to finish.

For over forty years, Steven Berkoff has been an ever present figure in London theatre. His violent and often crude language and plot matter kept him off West End stages, yet made him a hero of London’s Fringe scene. Berkoff has written over eighteen original works, in addition to sixteen adaptations of classic works by literary figures such as Franz Kafka, Edgar Allen Poe, and William Shakespeare. One of Steven Berkoff’s best known and most controversial plays is Greek, his retelling of Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex. In Greek, Steven Berkoff transforms the tragic hero Oedipus into Eddy, a young English lad living in the East End of London in the 1980s.

The story of Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex (circa 430 B.C.) has enthralled audiences since its first performance. Aristotle wrote in The Poetics that he regarded the play as one of the greatest tragedies. Sigmund Freud connected the play with one of his psychoanalytic theories – The sexual desire for intimacy with the parent of the opposite sex while having a sense of rivalry with the parent of the same sex – known as the Oedipus Complex. A variety of productions have been staged, as well as a variety of different interpretations of the tragic tale. Berkoff has not only revisited the story of Oedipus but also reinterpreted it based upon the values seen in 1980s Thatcherist London.

Berkoff’s use of poetic language is critically acclaimed, although his language is often filthy. Characters talk about unmentionable subjects, take their clothes off, have sex, humiliate each another, experience unpleasant emotions, become suddenly violent. – “At its best, this kind of theatre is so powerful, so visceral, that it forces audiences to react: either they feel like fleeing the building or they are suddenly convinced that it is the best thing they have ever seen, and want all their friends to see it too. It is the kind of theatre that inspires us to use superlatives, whether in praise or condemnation.”

GREEK is not simply an adaptation of Sophocles but a recreation of the various Oedipus myths which seemed to apply – a play about what London had become. London equals Thebes and is full of riots, filth, decay, bombings, football mania, mobs at the palace gates, plague madness and post-pub depression. Under Margaret Thatcher, London was suffering from a social plague which was eating away at the heart of this nation.

Be warned – GREEK plays for only 10 performances, in an intimate theatre with only 80 seats. This production will sell-out. Buy Now.

This production is strictly for adult audiences only. Contact us for more information.

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