Steven Berkoff was asked to direct Shakespeare's Richard II in New York early 1994. It was a project he found fascinating: performing an Elizabethan play within the scrapers of Manhattan and the still rotting slums of the Lower East Side, between the steaming breath oozing out from the cracked pipes and the brutality of modern New York speak. New York became the backdrop and the energy centre which charged him each day and fed his inspiration.
This book offers a wonderful insight into the many characters, challenges and places that were integral to the project and details how gradually the production took form. Served by a first-rate company that worked incredibly hard, the achievement was a critically acclaimed production and the fulfilment of a personal goal to direct the Bard.
NEW YORK POST
This morning I have joy to report - so let the trumpets sound and the canons roar! Last night at the Anspacher Auditorium of the Joseph Papp Public Theater, there opened a production of The Tragedy of Richard II which can hold its own with the world's best in Shakespearean stagings.
NEW YORK SUNDAY TIMES
The Tragedy of Richard II now being given an exceptionally stylish production by Steven Berkoff. Mr Berkoff's production, which, among many virtues, is so well and clearly spoken and so clean of dramatic line that it's accessible from start to finish...
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
NEW YORK - They'll be talking about this Richard II for years.