My Edinburgh: Steven Berkoff, actor
Monday 22 August 2011
Edinburgh in August is one of the most extraordinarily dynamic manifestations of human creativity in the world.
I was first here in 1968 with Leonard Rossiter for The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui, but every time I return it's incredibly memorable: getting off the train, breathing the fresh air and knowing there's four weeks of hell ahead.
Like a great multitude of people all rushing to the holy land, (there are so many shows) Edinburgh is like an army obstacle course. The main thrust is panic; panic just to get the show on.
It's a festival that runs like a conveyor belt; having only a few hours to set up a complex show, the more ambitious you are the more you will be crushed because coming after you is another show, and after that, another.
So if you want to survive Edinburgh you have to be really prepared, flexible, patient and not too irritable. You have to fight for your space; with so many one-woman/one-man shows, people will occupy a cupboard just to get their personality and message across.
But there's something quite moving about the spirit of these people, when you see the staggering energy generated by thousands working for not much more than their bread and butter and somewhere to sleep at night. Such devotion to the creative act purifies society, purifies Britain, purifies Scotland.
Steven Berkoff's 'Oedipus', Pleasance Courtyard (0131 556 6550) to 29 August
Steven Berkoff's Must-See
I saw one of the most astonishing manifestations of human energy and wit I have seen in my life: Jerry Sadowitz. Like a dynamo on stage, he lances the poison of the boils you have inside you. Others worth watching are George Dillon, who is doing no less than six one-man shows, and Guy Masterson's 'Shylock' at the Assembly Rooms.
peopleContenders for Time magazine's Person of the Year are a mixture of the good, the bad and the holy
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
danceUnder Tamara Rojo's inspired direction, it seems possible that it could challenge the dominance of the Royal Ballet. We meet some established names and rising stars
travelDiscover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Government delays EU immigration report because it is too positive
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent
- < Previous
- Next >