Sit and Shiver

Steven Berkoff
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ISBN 9780571234691 Format Paperback
Published 01/06/2006 Length 96 pages

About Book

How a certain Jewish family mourns a dead patriarch. The term is 'sitting Shiva' (mourning for seven days), when friends and relatives commiserate, usually in the home of the deceased. As children, we always understood this to be 'sit and shiver', which also seemed most appropriate. While death has claimed the old man and triggered the usual inflated eulogies - 'how important a man becomes when they die' - it has also brought to the surface hidden anxieties and grievances, only exacerbated when a visitor shows up bearing strange news that threatens to tear the family apart.

A Jewish black comedy in the Berkoff tradition.

Sit and Shiver was first presented at the Odyssey Theater, Los Angeles, in March 2004. The European premiere was held at the New End Theatre, London, in association with Saw Productions, in May 2006.

  • About Steven Berkoff

    Steven Berkoff was born in Stepney, East London and started acting at the City Literary Institute when he was 19. Following more training at the Webber Douglas School of Drama, he worked extensively in repertory theatre in England and Scotland - doing every job from understudy to stage management. In 1968 he formed his own company, the London Theatre Group. Through mime, gymnastics and voice, the Group liberated themselves from the conventions of mainstream theatre and started to evolve an innovative, more integrated theatrical language. Berkoff's encounter with the mime artist Jacque le Coq in Paris was seminal in this. Steven Berkoff's plays include East, West, Sink the Belgrano!, Decadence, Kvetch, Acapulco, Ritual in Blood, Oedipus, Messiah: Scenes from a Crucifixtion, The Secret Love Life of Ophelia, West, Decadence, Sit and Shiver, Greek, Harry's Christmas, Lunch, Acapulco, Sink the Belgrano!, Massage, Sturm und Drang and Brighton Beach Scumbags.

    He has written an autobiography, Free Association, and the theatre books I Am Hamlet, Overview and Meditations on Metamorphosis. Among Berkoff's film credits are Octopussy, Beverly Hills Cop and his own production of Decadence.

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