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Berkoff & Merrells Reunite for Oedipus???

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Following the Theatre Royal Haymarket run earlier this year of the stage production of On the Waterfront, Steven Berkoff is apparently keen to return to the West End with his version of Oedipus. The playscript was published by Faber in 2000, but this take on Sophocles’ original has not previously been stage professionally – though the Oedipus myths did also provide the inspiration for Berkoff’s famous 1982 play, Greek.

According to Berkoff, “My version of Oedipus seeks to examine the play and occasionally peer beneath the tendency to strut and pose, to high-blown rhetoric and an air of self-importance somehow unavoidable in versions of Greek tragedy. I also sought to relate some events to images of today since the greatness of Greek tragedy is that its themes deal with the power of natural forces and the cycle of life and death. So its shadow lies across the years and its arguments are mankind's into perpetuity.”

We hear that Berkoff hopes to bring Oedipus into town in time for Christmas and that he’s already cast Simon Merrells, who starred as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront, in the title role. Ralph Fiennes tackled the doomed man, who murders his father and marries his mother, last autumn at the National Theatre, in Frank McGuinness’ version of Sophocles’ ancient tragedy.


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