Greek (play)

Greek is a verse play by Steven Berkoff. It was first performed at The Half Moon Theatre, London on 11 February 1980. It is a retelling of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. Berkoff wrote:

Steven Berkoff's Greek poster.jpg
Poster advertising the 1988 production of Greek at the Wyndham's Theatre.
Written bySteven Berkoff
Based onOedipus Rex by Sophocles
Date premiered11 February 1980
Place premieredHalf Moon Theatre, London
Original languageEnglish
GenreVerse drama
SettingLondon's East End

"Greek came to me via Sophocles, trickling its way down the millennia until it reached the unimaginable wastelands of Tufnell Park ... In my eyes, Britain seemed to have become a gradually decaying island, preyed upon by the wandering hordes who saw no future for themselves in a society which had few ideals or messages to offer them."[1]

Notable productionsEdit

World premiere[2]

11 February 1980 at the Half Moon Theatre, London.
Directed by Steven Berkoff.

The production transferred in September 1980 to the Arts Theatre Club, with Deirdre Morris replacing Janet Amsden.

1988 London revival[2]

29 June 1988 at the Wyndham's Theatre, London.
Directed by Steven Berkoff.

  • Eddy & Fortune-teller - Bruce Payne
  • Dad & Manager of cafe - Steven Berkoff
  • Wife, Doreen & Waitress 1 - Gillian Eaton
  • Mum, Sphinx & Waitress 2 - Georgia Brown

Opera adaptationEdit

The play was used as the basis for a well-received opera of the same name composed by Mark-Anthony Turnage and first performed in 1988.[3]

Further readingEdit

  • Berkoff, Steven (2020). "18". A World Elsewhere. Routledge. pp. 93–98. ISBN 978-0-367-35687-3.


  1. ^ Berkoff, Steven (1989) [1980], "Greek", Decadence and Other Plays, London: Faber and Faber, ISBN 0-571-14073-4
  2. ^ a b Berkoff, Steven (2000). Steven Berkoff: Plays One (Revised ed.). Faber and Faber. p. 99. ISBN 0-571-20721-9.
  3. ^ Ewans, Michael, Opera from the Greek: Studies in the poetics of appropriation, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007, p. 183. ISBN 0-7546-6099-0

External linksEdit