2 Seven states of tension. Berkoff’s work exists at 1, 2 and 6, 7- it is all about extremes.Freezes should be held with great tension and with exaggerated facial expressions‘Movement is another language’
3 Berkoff’s theatre The Actor creates the whole environment physically. All props are mimed or physically embodied by part of the actors anatomyThis should make theatre more of a spectacleTest the level of physical control by using extremes of pace- slow/ fast“I despise naturalism, a good actor should need no props.” Berkoff
4 Influences Mime Creating the environment physically Physical Theatre of Jacques Le CoqMimeCreating the environment physically7 states of tensionHeightened GestureBrecht’s alienationPlays seek not to recreate real life, but to revel in the spectacle of theatreAt times plays have been episodic and had a political message (Sink The Belgrano)The notion of Gestus and exaggerated characters/ stereotypesGreek TheatreUse of a chorusLong verse speechesDirectly addressing an audience
5 So to play a Berkoff character You should have hyperbolic physicality (clear Gestus- heightened gesture) play up the stereotype.Play with the rhythm and tempo of the verse, enjoy the flow of the languageDeliver dialogue straight out to the audience- not to the other actorCreate the environment around you physically using mime and sound effectsPlay the scene with great tension in your body.
6 Major Berkoff plays‘Newer Berkoff’* offensive, shocking, character driven playsEastWestGreekKvetchDecadence‘Older Berkoff’ dark, chorus driven playsThe TrialMetamorphosis* I say ‘newer’ but these plays came out between 1975 and 1986, so they are all about 30 years old! – after this he tended to do 1 man shows in the 90s (Dog, Tell Tale Heart, Shakespeare’s Villains)