Steven Berkoff was born in Stepney, East London and first studied acting at the City Literary Institute in Holborn when he was nineteen. Following full-time 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, ensemble work and voice, the group developed their own innovative theatrical language. Berkoff’s encounter with the great mime teacher Jacques Lecoq in Paris was seminal in this. Steven Berkoff’s plays include East, West, Sink the Belgrano!, Kvetch, Ritual in Blood, Oedipus, Messiah: Scenes from a Crucifixion, The Secret Love Life of Ophelia, Decadence, Sit and Shiver, Greek (adapted as an opera by Mark Anthony Turnage), Harry’s Christmas, Acapulco, Massage, Sturm und Drang and Brighton Beach Scumbags.
He has written an autobiography, Free Association, and many theatre books including I Am Hamlet, Overview and Meditations on Metamorphosis. Among Berkoff’s film credits are A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, Octopussy, The Tourist, The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, and his own version of The Tell Tale Heart.