Recent Posts

Friday, 12 January 2018

REVIEW: East at the Kings Head Theatre

Steven Berkoff's extraordinary theatrical masterpiece East returns to the same venue in Islington forty three years after its first London production which made such an influential impact and defined a style of theatre which is both absurd and shocking in equal measure. Berkoff says the play was written to exorcise demons struggling within him. The result is a powerful explosion of feelings and emotions which contrasts the youthful exuberance of two young men and the girl they fight over with the tired martial existence of the parents they might become.

The structure of the play, a series of short scenes, soliloquies and mime sequences rather than a linear plot, is exciting and demanding but in reviving it also has a sense of nostalgia with its cultural references and music that evoke an earlier post war, pre Thatcher time. It plays with the sense of time and this reinforces the flights of fantasy that some scenes explore. Berkoff's language is at times poetic with Shakespearean allusions but often course, graphic and explicit. It also feels dated in some of the attitudes and expressions used adding to the sense of a bygone era. You can't help feeling that the two likely lads at the centre of the stories might have made good today and broken free from the environment that traps them.
Blog Design by pipdig