Greek (play)

Greek is a play by Steven Berkoff.

Written bySteven Berkoff
Date premiered11 February 1980
Place premieredHalf Moon Theatre, London
Original languageEnglish
SettingLondon's East End

It was first performed at the Half Moon Theatre in London on 11 February 1980, in a production directed by the author. The cast was:

  • Eddy & Fortune-teller: Barry Philips
  • Dad & Manager of cafe: Matthew Scurfield
  • Wife, Doreen & Waitress 1: Linda Marlowe
  • Mum, Sphinx & Waitress 2: Janet Amsden

It is a retelling of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. Berkoff wrote:

"Greek came to me via Sophocles, trickling its way down the millenia 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]

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.[2]


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