Director Steven Berkoff Takes on Jesus in Messiah, Dec. 2

News   Director Steven Berkoff Takes on Jesus in Messiah, Dec. 2 You can’t keep a rebel down. The bad boy of British theatre (or, as Time Out called him, “the glowering gangsta granddaddy of physical theatre”), Steven Berkoff, brings his own coruscating blend of no-holds-barred intensity to London’s Old Vic. Messiah – Scenes From a Crucifixion is Berkoff’s seasonal re-telling of the story of Jesus, and opens Dec. 2.

    Combining lyricism and raw physicality Berkoff’s play depicts the birth of Christianity as an attempted coup to overthrow the Roman occupiers. Jesus and his disciples plot to fulfill messianic prophecies and start a movement that will drive the Romans back home. Berkoff himself – famous for playing villains, from his show on Shakespeare’s bad guys to his James Bond baddie (in “Octopussy”) – stars as Satan. Greg Hicks, in between stints with the Royal Shakespeare Company (as Coriolanus last season and Macbeth in 2004), is Christ. Michael Jenn plays Pilate, Ray Sawyer is Caiphas, Jonathan Coyne is John the Baptist, Brendan Hughes is Judas, Helen Schlesinger is Mary. Simon Anderson, Matt Callum, Paul Ireland, Jonathan Sidgwick and Daniel Singer play disciples.

The production was previously a hit at the Edinburgh Festival, where it bagged the Scotsman Fringe First Award for 2000. It’s presented by East Productions Ltd and Christopher Malcolm Ltd. in association with (somewhat amusingly, given Mr. Berkoff’s somewhat threadbare pate) by shampoo makers Vidal Sassoon.

For ticket information call (0)870 060 6628 or (0)870 534 4444.

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