Critically acclaimed UK actor, director, playwright and author Steven Berkoff will give his unique perspective on the art of provocation at an exclusive Sydney Ideas event to be held at the University of Sydney on Monday night.
In this fascinating lecture, titled "Provocation: How far can an artist go?", Berkoff will discuss how he has managed to stay on the fringe since he formed the London Theatre Group 40 years ago.
Berkoff, one of theatre's most unique talents, advocates theatre that will challenge, provoke and "astonish" audiences. His own stage work, he has said, is "not social observation or a polite rendering of character but a highly physical, deeply illuminating direct form of expression."
The East-End born Berkoff is renowned for his high-octane work playing villains in Octopussy (1983), Beverly Hills Cop (1984) and Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) as well as roles in Clockwork Orange (1971) and Decadence (1994). Most recently he has become known for his highly acclaimed theatrical performances, direction and stage adaptations, including adaptations of Shakespeare's Hamlet, Macbeth and Oscar Wilde's Salome.
- University of Sydney
Steven Berkoff is an actor, director, playwright and author, familiar through villainous appearances in films such as Rambo, Octopussy and War & Remembrance, but also regarded by many as the greatest living theatre practitioner.
Steven Berkoff as Mike in 'East'Berkoff studied Drama in London and Paris and performed with repertory companies before forming the London Theatre Group in 1968. Their first professional production was In the Penal Colony, an adaptation of a short story by Kafka. Berkoff's first original stage play East, was presented at the Edinburgh Festival in 1975. Other original plays include West, Decadence, Greek, Kvetch, Acapulco, Harry's Christmas, Lunch, Sink the Belgrano, Massage, Sturm und Drang, Brighton Beach Scumbags and Messiah..Steven Berkoff as Titorelli in 'The Trial'
Among the many adaptations Steven Berkoff has created for the stage, directed and toured are Kafka's Metamorphosis and The Trial, Agamemnon (after Aeschylus) and Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher. His plays and adaptations have been performed in many countries and many languages. He has also directed and toured productions of Hamlet, Macbeth and Oscar Wilde's Salome. He has directed his plays and adaptations in Japan, Steven Berkoff as Herod in 'Salome'Germany and Los Angeles as well as Richard II and Coriolanus for the New York Shakespeare Festival. His one-man show has toured Britain, the USA, South Africa, Finland, Italy, Singapore and Australia.
He has published a variety of books such as Gross Intrusion- a collection of short stories; I Am Hamlet and Meditations on Metamorphosis, Coriolanus in Deutschland, and A Prisoner in Rio.
Act, utterance, writing, or illustration that is deemed deeply offensive according to contemporary community standards of morality and decency. Though most societies have placed restrictions on the content of literary and graphic works, it was not until relatively modern times that sexuality became a major focus of societal concern. One of the first systematic efforts to suppress books deemed to be immoral or heretical was undertaken by the Roman Catholic church in the 16th century. Modern obscenity laws can be viewed as direct responses to the social and technological changes (e.g., the creation of the printing press and the development of the Internet) that have permitted the wide and easy distribution of sexually explicit materials. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that materials are obscene if they appeal predominantly to a prurient interest in sexual conduct, depict or describe sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, and lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. Material deemed obscene under this definition is not protected in the U.S. by the free-speech guarantee of the 1st Amendment. See alsofreedom of speech; pornography.