Oedipus by Steven Berkoff @ Pleasance Grand

Berkoff and die

Feature by Daph Karoulla | 18 Aug 2011
  • Oedipus @ Pleasance Grand

Oedipus is the tale of a man cursed by gods and men alike. Prophecies state he would live to kill his father, and marry his mother. His parents, King Laius of Thebes and his queen Jocasta, selfishly hand their newborn son to a herdsman who is to dispose of him. In an act of charity, the herdsman passes the child over to a fellow shepherd, who brings him to the king and queen of Corinth.

Years later, having heard the oracle foretelling of his horrible fate, Oedipus flees Corinth only to end up in Thebes. On the way, he kills a man who insults him and thinks nothing of it, until 15 years later he is forced to come face to face with the memory.

Steven Berkoff takes it upon himself to re-write the tale and direct this production. What Hitchcock was to film and horror, Steven Berkoff is to physical theatre. His choice of subject matter leads him to resurrect tales that everybody knows, yet his innovative and action-based style breathes fresh life into them.

The language used is powerful and lyrical at times, using repetition and forceful words to emphasize important words. Furthermore, Berkoff's style of theatre is very close to live narrative; he links words to action, such that the actors act out a scene and describe it at the same time. His script is very well-written and faithful to Sophocles. However, although the physicality of his genre works very welll for certain scenes, it seems to delay the plot at parts, slowing it down too much to allow for a climax.





Until 29 Aug, 13.20

Pleasance Grand