Elia Kazan’s multi-Oscar-winning film gave Marlon Brando an iconic turn as beleagured boxer Terry Malloy, who, after throwing one too many fights, ends up working in the docks for mobster Johnny Friendly. Unwittingly implicated in a murder, Malloy is forced to make a decision when he falls for the dead man’s sister.
Written by the film’s scriptwriter Budd Shulberg with Stan Silverman, this stage production is conceived and directed by Berkoff, who also plays the role of mobster Johnny Friendly. It comes to the West End following try-outs in Edinburgh and Nottingham.
Simon Merrells also transfers with the production, following in Brando’s weighty footsteps as Malloy, the boxer who “coulda been a contender”. Also in the cast are Vincenzo Nicoli (Father Barry), Coral Beed (Edie Doyle), Antony Byrne (Charley Malloy), Alexander Thomas, Ian Gofton, Sean Buckley, Alex McSweeny, Dominic Grant, Alex Giannini and Gavin Marshall.
Writer, director and actor Berkoff has directed and appeared in numerous touring productions and written original stage plays including Decadence, The Secret Love Life Of Ophelia, Massage, Acapulco, Brighton Beach Scumbags and Sit And Shiver.
Merrells appeared with Berkoff in a touring production of Coriolanus. His stage work also includes a season with the Royal Shakespeare Company and several productions at the National Theatre, including The Life Of Galileo, Mourning Becomes Electra and Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads. He has been seen on television in Family Affairs, London’s Burning and Merseybeat
On The Waterfront plays at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until 25 April, filling the gap left by the early closure of Treasure Island, which ended its run on 10 January. Sean Mathias’s production of Waiting For Godot is already confirmed to open at the venue on 6 May, after previews from 30 April.