Posts Tagged ‘Steven Berkoff’

Review – Oedipus, Pleasance Courtyard Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe

Monday 15 August 2011

“Sh*t” moaned the woman heading the queue at the Pleasance Courtyard.

“He’s the reason we booked,” the He being Steven Berkoff, who would not be offering his Creon at Saturday afternoon’s performance.

But she needn’t have worried. Mr Matthew Cullum covered the indisposition splendidly and since this is Oedipus by Steven Berkoff (after Sophocles) the auteur’s presence could be felt throughout it like the letters running through a stick of (Sisyphean?) rock.

We need not concern you overly with the plot. Oedipus married his mother Jocasta (“Where he exits he enters”) which of course leads to..well that would need a spoiler alert.

Simon Merrells who so impressed the Whingers in Berkoff’s On the Waterfront does so again in the title role. Anita Dobson as his mother/wife is strangely mesmerising as she wafts through the proceedings done up like a sixties cocktail party hostess wiggling her fingers constantly as though she’s having trouble getting her nails to dry.

It’s all stunningly staged and lit (Mike Robertson) with the excellent Greek chorus forming typically Berkoffian Last Supper style tableaux against a Dali-esque background (Design by Michael Vale). If it goes on just a little longer than necessary there’s a bit of traditional Greek dancing to help you through. Less Greek chorus, more chorus boys.

Note to the producers: Get Miss Dobson some quick-drying nail varnish so she can stop waving her hands about for the hour and 40 minutes.

Rating

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In which the Whingers fess up to their whereabouts on Sunday

Monday 9 March 2009

Well, it’s a bit embarrassing really. But we were on the fringe. In Hackney. Again.

And we’d have got away with it too if it weren’t for those pesky playwrights Stephen Sharkey and Dr David Eldridge who were both around to witness the Whingers swan in for the 1pm (!) performance of three short plays at the Arcola Theatre.

This was part of the East festival and featured:

The whole thing was over in about an hour, each being short enough that the Whingers’ ever decreasing attention spans could cope. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – On The Waterfront, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Wednesday 18 February 2009

on-the-waterfrontIt is with bowed heads and silly, sheepish expressions that the Whingers admitted to each other that neither had ever seen the original classic film, On The Waterfront.

Despite growing up feasting on a veritable cornucopia old black and white movies they tended to dine from the menu of great divas. Andrew’s life and tastes were shaped by Sunday afternoon TV screenings of Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Lana Turner classics. Phil – some considerable years earlier – had forked out his ‘apenny to develop a palate for the likes of Theda Bara, Vilma Bánky and Marie Dressler.

So between them, somehow the grittier, more testosterone-fuelled movies such as Elia Kazan‘s eight-time Academy Award winner had passed them by. Perhaps their lives could have turned out so differently otherwise.

But on the other hand it was with few preconceptions and even less knowledge than usual that they sidled over to the Theatre Royal Haymarket to catch Steven Berkoff‘s acclaimed stage production of On the Waterfront. Read the rest of this entry »