Berkoff returns for Greek tragedy

Steven Berkoff
Steven Berkoff

FOREVER Young is now up and running at Nottingham Playhouse but preparations are already well advanced for the other two plays in the current spring season at the venue.

When the popular play with music finishes its second run on February 19, the spotlight turns to Steven Berkoff’s version of Oedipus.

The production marks the return of the celebrated actor, writer and director to Nottingham Playhouse after his triumphant 2008 production of On The Waterfront, bringing his distinctive style to a new version of Sophocles’s greatest Greek tragedy. It can be seen from March 23 to April 9.

With a highly charged performance style and charismatic ensemble of actors led by Simon Merrells (On The Waterfront) in the title role, with Louise Jameson (EastEnders, Tenko, Bergerac) as Jocasta, this co-production with Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse tells the story of one man’s quest for the truth and his refusal to accept where the blame truly lies.

As the darkness surrounding Thebes deepens and taboos are shattered, the horror of Oedipus’s actions are revealed in an unforgettable climax.

Later in the season, you will be able to see The League Of Youth, by Henrik Ibsen, in a version by Andy Barrett, directed here by the Playhouse’s very own Giles Croft. It runs from May 13 to June 1.

This will be the UK premiere of Ibsen’s political farce, as part of a major new European arts and theatre festival (NEAT 11) taking place across Nottingham this summer.

Widely considered to be considered Ibsen’s most popular play in 19th century Norway, it tells the story of Stensgaard – a man who promises to champion the people and remake politics by forming a new party – The League of Youth.

But in scheming to be elected, he becomes enmeshed in a string of romantic affairs which ultimately mark his downfall. Playhouse stalwart Andy Barrett (Garage Band, The Day That Kevin Came) finds fresh satire and contemporary reflections in this rarely-seen comic gem which has a resounding relevance to present day Britain.

Ticket details for both Steven Berkoff’s Sophocles, and The League Of Youth, are available from the Nottingham Playhouse box office on 0115 9419419.