Author Topic: Diary of a Juvenile Delinquent  (Read 6745 times)

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Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Diary of a Juvenile Delinquent
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2010, 09:18:12 PM »
The book reviewed by John Nathan in The Jewish Chronicle, 28 Oct 2010.

"Despite the title, this is not a diary but a memoir. It looks back with a great deal of anger at a childhood that could have easily led to a life of petty crime and underachievement. Instead, it led to a career as a writer, theatre director and creator of some of the most distinctive stage productions this country has seen...

...if Berkoff has a sense of injustice, it is not entirely unfounded. He has produced some very fine stage work, such as the muscular depictions of thuggery in East or his visceral adaptation of Kafka's Metamorphosis, without ever being embraced by the theatrical establishment.

...But, for someone who has carved a reputation as one of the most distinctive voices on the British stage, he gives you an awful lot of plodding prose to wade through before that voice eventually emerges.

...He left education - at Hackney Downs School he remembers Pinter's teacher belatedly acknowledging that Berkoff had some talent - with seething memories of corporal punishment and went into the world with little parental encouragement - none at all from his tailor father.

Life as an unskilled office worker and stealer of bikes, for which he was sent to Borstal, beckoned.
This ultimately winning portrait is of a sensitive boy who could be tough when he had to but who was starved of love. But don't feel too sorry: all this pain made this sometimes angry but essentially creative adult what he is, to theatregoers' lasting benefit.

The full review is here
www.thejc.com/arts/book-reviews/40298/review-diary-a-juvenile-delinquent
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 09:11:22 PM by Iain Fisher »

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Diary of a Juvenile Delinquent
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2010, 09:11:12 PM »
I was at the talk at the National Theatre.

Steven was in good form, friendly and coming up with lots of anecdotes.

He talked about actors turning directors, allowing them to pass on their experience and how this is frowned on today.  And asked about directors he admired, he mentioned Peter Brook, particulalry his King Lear and The Marat Sade.

And an early influence was his teacher reading the class The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Diary of a Juvenile Delinquent
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2010, 12:57:51 PM »
Some extracts from the book:

My father, unlike my mother, was a risk taker. During the second world war, we lived in a flat on Whitechapel Road in the East End of London. At one point during the blitz, the air-raid sirens went off every night for 30 nights, and each time my parents would grab my sister and me and take us to the shelter beneath Whitechapel underground station. On the 31st night, my father said: "Look, the kids are sleeping soundly, it's two in the morning, for God's sake let's take a small risk and stay put." But my mother, being extremely cautious, said: "Let's be on the safe side." So again we were dragged out of bed and carried down to the underground. When we came out, a bomb had destroyed our house...

My sister Beryl, who passed away a few years ago, was seven years older than me, which inevitably led to conflicts... In adulthood, we drifted apart...

My mother was almost entirely responsible for my cultural education. She took me to the library once a week and by the age of seven I was reading 100 books a year. She also took me to the theatre regularly– always to see variety acts, not plays– and that, coupled with the adventurous, albeit hand-to-mouth, upbringing I experienced sparked my development.

I have a daughter from a relationship I had in my late teens or early 20s. Because I felt it wasn't the kind of pukka behaviour my family or relatives would admit to, I denied it for many years. But now I see my daughter from time to time and she's a fabulous woman. She has two sons and I much enjoy being a grandfather to them...

The extracts are from The Guardian "Steven Berkoff: My family valuesThe actor talks about his family", Nick McGrath 18 Sept 2010
www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/sep/18/steven-berkoff-my-family-values

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Diary of a Juvenile Delinquent: talk
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2010, 10:50:46 PM »
Steven Berkoff will be discussing his new book Diary of a Juvenile Delinquent at the National Theatre in London on 29 Oct 2010.

Details here:
www.iainfisher.com/berkoff/berkoff-news.html

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Diary of a Juvenile Delinquent
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2010, 10:45:58 PM »
Diary of a Juvenile Delinquent



A new autobiography by Steven is published on 25 Sept 2010.  More details when available.  You can pre-order the book here.

www.iainfisher.com/berkoff/berkoff-shop.html
« Last Edit: July 04, 2010, 10:47:49 PM by Iain Fisher »