“Alla Greca”, the ‘made in Elf’ version of Oedipus

In 1980 Steven Berkoff he wrote and directed Greekan eclectic and controversial parody of the myth of Oedipuscomposed in verse, with a marked tendency to profanity.

The satirical fresco that the artist paints of Thatcherian London – between rat invasions, civil strife and angry hooligans – spans the last 40 years of social and political history, reaching up to the present time, marked by a new pandemic and absurd outbursts warmonger.


Almost 30 years after the first installation in 1993, Elio De Capitani and the entire team of the Elf Theater they decided to play again with this hyperbolic, disruptive and contradictory text.

The aggressiveness of the word

Eddy (an overwhelming Marco Bonadei, especially in the punk version of the first act) is a young proletarian who leaves his parents to escape the dire prediction of a fortune teller. In an infamous London pub, he runs into his real father (Elio De Capitani), still unaware of his origins, and kills him with his words: a duel of cutting insults, similar to the one in the film Hook between adult Peter Pan (Robin Williams) and young Rufio.

He seduces Jocasta, his real mother (Sara Borsarellithe embodiment of a perfect mix of resignation and emancipation) and challenges the iconic Sphinx (in fur and dread), played by Cristina Crippa.

Cristina Crippa

A Brechtian direction, between words and music

The “circus” direction by Elio De Capitani – with evident Brechtian references – is reflected in the dreamlike customs of Andrea Taddeiand in the surrealist and “green” lights of Nando Frigerio.

The post-industrial scenography – already conceived in the first installation by Thalia Istikopoulou – it is a tubular structure on superimposed levels, with ladders that allow the characters to pass from one narrative level to another and shopping carts, always present on the scene, which indicate the difficulty of giving up a decadent consumerism.


A bar that continuously oscillates in the center of the scene highlights the verticality of the installation, for which the salient moments of the story tend to happen downwards.

The highest level, in fact, belongs to the music, conceived and played live by Mario Arcari and two other musicians in a fabulous game of ironic counterpoints, between solo saxophone, double bass and percussion: in this case too, echoes from the world of the circus and brief hints of melodies and cinematic atmospheres sculpted in memory are found (like the song Amado mio, sung by Rita Hayworth, in the film Gilda).




Feminine vs masculine, in a “porno-phonic” text

Berkoff adopts the angry and sexually explicit, but never annoying language of “raw metropolitan fairy tale”. The protagonist is animated by an overwhelming and “necessary” anger; however his love for life pushes him not to take on the “historical” responsibility of the incestuous relationship with his mother, leading the two protagonists to an unexpected ending: an apology for women and eroticism, a hymn to love, as Eddy’s final lyrical momentum testifies: “It is love, I feel that all this is love. What does it matter what form it takes?”.

The interpretation of Marco Bonadei it becomes a challenge also on the physical level, in a show where language certainly has its own weight, but little substance. The light-heartedness of music takes care of it, conveying political and social instances, which traverse, unperturbed, the history of humanity.

Seen the 23/10/2022
at the theatre Elfo Puccini – Shakespeare room from Milan (MI)

“Alla Greca”, the ‘made in Elf’ version of Oedipus – The Review