Steven Berkoff was born in Stepney, London. After studying drama and mime in London and Paris, he formed the London Theatre Group in 1968. East, his first original stage play, was presented at the Edinburgh Festival in 1975. Other plays include
Messiah: Scenes from a Crucifixion, The Secret Love Life of Ophelia, West, Decadence, Greek, Harry’s Christmas, Lunch, Acapulco, Sink the Belgrano!, Massage, Sturm und Drang, Brighton Beach Scumbags, 6 Actors in Search of a Director, Actor’s Lament and a series of plays performed under the umbrella title Anarchy and Religion. Among his many adaptations are The Trial and Metamorphosis (after Kafka), Agamemnon (Aeschylus), The Fall of the House of Usher (Poe) and Oedipus (Sophocles). His plays and adaptations have
been performed internationally and translated into many languages. He has also directed productions of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus (where he played the title role), Richard II for the New York Shakespeare Festival, Hamlet and Macbeth, Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, and a critically acclaimed West End staging of On the Waterfront.
His many books include short-story collections Graft: Tales of an Actor and Gross Intrusion, production journals I Am Hamlet, Meditations on Metamorphosis, Coriolanus in Deutschland and A Prisoner in Rio, and memoirs Free Association, Diary of a Juvenile Delinquent and Tales from an Actor’s Life. Faber publishes his collected plays in three volumes, as well as The Secret Love Life of Ophelia. The Amber Lane Press publication of Requiem for Ground Zero, his tribute to September 11th in verse, coincided with a run at the Edinburgh Festival. A collection, One Act Plays, was published by Methuen in 2013.
His television productions include West, Metamorphosis, Harry’s Christmas, Silent Night and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart and, as an actor, he has appeared in a wide range of feature films including A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, McVicar, Outlands, Beverly Hills Cop, Rambo, Revolution, Under the Cherry Moon, Absolute Beginners, The Krays, Legionnaire, Forest of the Gods, 44 Inch Chest, The Tourist and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
LitFest Session: Sunday Evening Special Guest, 17 July at 5:00 pm