Amber Lane Press

STEVEN BERKOFF is an actor and theatre director as well as a playwright. He studied drama in London and mime in Paris and acted for several years in traditional British Theatre. His reputation was founded on his adaptations from Kafka - The Trial, Metamorphosis, and In the Penal Colony - after which his first original stage play, East, won critical acclaim in 1975 for its originality and eclectic concoction of Elizabethan verse and punk poetry with Cockney slang. His other work for the stage includes: Greek, a parody of the Oedipus myth; West, the story of Beowulf written in the Cockney idiom as a sequel to East; Decadence; Harry's Christmas; Kvetch; Acapulco; Sink the Belgrano; and The Message.

Requiem for Ground Zero by Steven Berkoff ISBN: 1872868363
ISBN: 1 872868 36 3

[This title is now OUT OF PRINT]


Steven Berkoff
Requiem for Ground Zero [This title is now OUT OF PRINT]

Requiem for Ground Zero is a poem written to pay homage to the unknown victims, such as the window cleaner Roko Camaj, who died in the 9/11 tragedy. It was first performed by Steven Berkoff at the Assembly Rooms Theatre, Edinburgh Festival on 14 August 2002

"...the first significant piece of theatre in Britain to respond to 9/11 ... a plea for common humanity."
Robert Dawson Scott, The Times

"...the writing has a beauty and sincerity."
Dominic Cavendish, The Daily Telegraph

"...the stuff of grand drama."
Mark Logan, The Guardian

"A first for Berkoff, and a treat for us."
Neil Cooper, The Herald

" exerts a fierce and memorable grip on the attention, from start to finish."
Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman


Steven Berkoff
Agamemnon / The Fall of the House of Usher

Adapted from Aeschylus' great tragedy, Berkoff's version of Agamemnon evolved over a long period of workshop sessions with the London Theatre Group and was first performed at the Round House in 1973. The definitive version was presented at the Greenwich Theatre in 1976. The play is about heat and battle, fatigue, the marathon and the obscenity of modern and future wars.

In The Fall of the House of Usher Berkoff takes Edgar Allan Poe's horrific tale and, as one French critic described it, explodes the text to create a new form that retains the central core. The play was first performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 1974 and subsequently at the Hampstead Theatre Club in 1975.

“Stephen Berkoff’s characteristically idiosyncratic version strips the story to the bone [and] reduces the crumbling, monstrous house of the title to Roderick and Madeleine Usher’s incestuous bed, and a lavish dinner party to a hilarious episode with a tub of sorbet.”
Jonathan Gibbs, Time Out

“...just when his exaggerated and often comic expressionism seems to be going too far, Berkoff will return to the startling imagery of the original, seamlessly combining Poe’s often purple Gothic prose with his own spiky punk poetry ... The Fall of the House of Usher is an intriguing, if slightly removed, experience that continually excites the senses.”
Oliver Jones, What’s On



Agamemnon / The Fall of the House of Usher by Steven Berkoff ISBN: 1872868010 published by Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9781872868011
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Coriolanus in Deutschland by Steven Berkoff ISBN: 1872868088 published by Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9781872868080 - 160 pages
£10.99 £9.99
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Steven Berkoff
Coriolanus in Deutschland

Steven Berkoff's journal of directing Coriolanus in Germany makes fascinating reading as one of Britain's most controversial figures of the theatre unfolds the agonies and pleasures of creating Shakespeare in German with a group of German actors. It's a day-by-day account with many ‘asides’ about the structure and traditions of the German theatrical establishment, contemporary attitudes of its practitioners, and some wry observations on Bavarian life.

No-one who has seen a Berkoff production, play or performance will be entirely unmoved by the experience, and the sensation is no less in reading this very personal diary of events, since it is written with the candour and forthrightness that characterises so much of his work. His productions are best known for their fusing of the many elements in theatre and strong physical imagery. The production of Coriolanus is here described in great detail and is a valuable guide to the mind of Berkoff, which can never be less than interesting.



Steven Berkoff
The Trial / Metamorphosis / In the Penal Colony
Three theatre adaptations from Franz Kafka

In the Penal Colony was Berkoff's first professional production, performed at London's experimental theatre, the Arts Lab, Drury Lane, in 1968. It is a strange tale of torture and suffering featuring a macabre machine so fiendish and diabolical that it could have been designed in hell. (Cast 4m)

The Trial was first presented at the Oval House in 1970. It’s the story of Joseph K. struggling in the abyss of self-doubt. A ludicrous parable investigating every contingency and nuance of the law. (Cast 8+m, 2+f)

“It is the nightmarish quality of The Trial that has fascinated Berkoff for years ... In Berkoff’s hands, the story offers wonderful opportunities for playfulness and clowning, but he is also the master manipulator of dark and painful nerves which are set a-jangling all through the psyche.”
Clare Bayley, What’s On

“[Berkoff] tackles resiliently many of the problems involved in translating Kafka’s study of guilt, solitude and nightmarish entrapment to the stage ... [he] comes up with his own clear vision of Kafka’s novel: as a study of a man whose external trial embodies his own internal guilt.”
~ Michael Billington, The Guardian

His adaptation of Metamorphosis, in which he originally played the part of Gregor, was first produced at the Round House in 1969. Gregor, the Untermensch, is gradually transformed into an insect which his family reject, then tolerate, then loathe, and finally destroy by neglect. (Cast 3+m, 2+f)

“Kafka’s novella Metamorphosis (1913) is a pretty gruelling affair ... In Steven Berkoff’s brilliant stage adaptation ... it becomes more searing still.”
~ Christopher Grier, London Standard

“A powerful, yet vividly funny, version of Kafka’s dark fantasy pointing out that human beings will inevitably become the thing they are treated as.”
~ Jack Tinker, Daily mail


The Trial / Metamorphosis / In the Penal Colony by Steven Berkoff ISBN: 090639984X published by Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9780906399842
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You can buy Steven Berkoff's books via this site at a discount.

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