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Berkoff Premieres Waterfront in Nottingham, 18 Apr

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As previously tipped (See The Goss, 5 Sep 2007), Steven Berkoff’s new stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning 1954 movie classic On the Waterfront will receive its world premiere this spring at Nottingham Playhouse, where it will run from 18 April to 3 May 2008 ahead of a West End transfer.

In On the Waterfront, New Jersey ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman Terry Malloy comes up against his corrupt, Mob-ruled union bosses. After being implicated in a murder, Terry finds support care of a streetwise priest and the love of the dead man’s sister.

The part of Malloy was immortalised by Marlon Brando in Elia Kazan’s film, which also starred Karl Malden, Eva Marie Saint and Rod Steiger. No casting has yet been announced for Berkoff’s play, although some of the big names previously mooted for the part Malloy, the man who “coulda been a contender”, have included Hollywood’s Matt Dillon, Mark Ruffalo and Guy Pearce.

The new stage play, conceived and directed by Berkoff, is co-written by the original screenplay’s author Budd Schulberg with Stan Silverman. An earlier stage incarnation of On the Waterfront lasted just one week at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre in 1995. Berkoff’s version is co-produced by his own company East Productions and Nottingham Playhouse. No venue or dates have yet been confirmed for the West End transfer.

Other in-house highlights in Nottingham’s new spring 2008 season include: the co-produced revival of Shared Experience’s two-part adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, at the Playhouse from 1 to 17 February as part of its national tour (See News, 21 Nov 2007); Esther Richardson’s new production of Stephen Poliakoff’s 1984 play Breaking the Silence, also set in Russia (16 to 31 May); and Andrew Breakwell’s revival of David Wood’s adaptation of Tom’s Midnight Garden, marking the 50th anniversary of publication of the celebrated Philippa Pearce children’s novel on which it’s based.

- by Terri Paddock


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