Steven Berkoff's One Man for Baxter

11 November 2002
CAPE TOWN audiences will get the best of theatre when acclaimed international writer, director and actor Steven Berkoff performs One Man at the Baxter Theatre Centre.

The play will be performed for four days only from November 20-23, 2002, nightly at 20h15.

Berkoff's maverick style has made him a controversial but respected figure. His reputation as living theatre legend originates from his innovative methods, which combine mime and voice in ground-breaking theatre pieces such as Decadence, Greek, East and West. These plays were also characterised by their unconventional and mostly mocking approach to subject matter.

Berkoff's plays, which were first performed in Cape Town in the late seventies, had local audiences responding with fervour. Decadence ran for 13 weeks at the Space Theatre in the early eighties and sold out at the Baxter's Concert Hall before it was even transferred to the bigger venue.

It has returned to local stages twice since the first production (which was directed by Fred Abrahamse and starred Fiona Ramsey and Henry Goodman). Metamorphosis broke all Space Theatre box office records and was their longest running play while Greek, Kvetch, Agamemnon and East were performed at the Baxter Theatre to captivated audiences.

Other than his stage works, Berkoff is also a well-known face on movie and television screens. His film credits include A Clockwork Orange, Octopussy, Beverly Hills Cop, The Krays, The Passenger and Rambo. He has appeared in many television series including Star Trek, and La Femme Nikita.

One Man will be performed by Steven Berkoff alone on stage and at his most compelling. The international press has heralded the play as: “Funny, outrageous, obnoxious, crass yet seductive, Berkoff is a bundle of energy that could drive a locomotive up the wall” — New York Metro.

One Man is a three-act social satire, which sees Berkoff in roles ranging from a man in denial of his obvious dementia (Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe) to a hilarious day in the life of a football hooligan and his pitbull terrier, Roy (dog by Berkoff). The third act, Actor (also written by Berkoff), is a portrait of an out-of-work actor and increasingly desperate Hamlet who is getting nowhere fast.

Berkoff was born in London and studied drama and mime in London and Paris. In 1968 he formed the London Theatre Group that departed from mainstream theatre and started to evolve an innovative, more integrated theatrical language. Berkoff's encounter with the mime artist Jacques le Coq in Paris was paramount to his career.

The London Theatre Group's first production was In The Penal Colony, adapted from Kafka's short story. His first original stage play, East, was presented at the Edinburgh Festival in 1975. His many publications include his plays as well as works of prose, poetry and short stories.

A limited number of tickets for the four performances are available from Computicket immediately. For more information please email Carol-Ann Davids at the Baxter Theatre or phone 021-680-3971.

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