New End Premieres Berkoff's Biblical Tales, 3 AugDate: 5 July 2010
Steven Berkoff will give four Bible stories a 'contemporary' and 'controversial' twist when he premieres a series of one act plays at the New End Theatre next month.
Biblical Tales, which opens on 3 August 2010 for a four-week run, feature Adam and Eve, Samson and Delilah, David and Goliath and Moses and Pharoah, all given a "21st Century twist ... in guises we would never have believed possible".
The four plays, which are performed over the course of a single evening, were first seen as a rehearsed reading at the New End back in May, as part of the London Jewish Performing Arts Festival.
Writer/director Berkoff said of the project: “The Old Testament myths are so mysterious and compelling that they lend themselves to all sorts of interpretations. Working on my adaptations it became obvious how relevant they are to our attitudes and values in modern times.
“It was the recent 'Gaza' war and the appalling flack that Israel received that prompted me to investigate ancient Jewish values.”
It's not the first time Berkoff has collaborated with the New End, which is located in Hampstead. His first play produced there was Decadence (1981), which transferred to the West End and became a feature film starring Joan Collins.
More recently, his play Sit and Shiver, about the Jewish Sitting Shivah rite, received its UK premiere at the New End in 2006 before transferring to the Hackney Empire.
Steven Berkoff's often combative career in entertainment began in repertory theatre, before he formed his own production unit. Plays which he's written, directed and often appeared in include Messiah and Shakespeare’s Villains, both seen in the West End in recent years, East, West, Salome, Decadence, Kvetch, The Secret Love Life of Ophelia, Requiem for Ground Zero and the Whatsonstage.com Award-winning adaptation On the Waterfront, which ran at the Theatre Royal Haymarket last year.