Graft – Tales of an Actor

Dillon’s award-winning solo staging of Berkoff’s savage cautionary tales on the perils of the theatrical profession.

“Holds the audience so rapt I am convinced we collectively stopped breathing… the most compelling storytelling you will see!”
(The Herald)

Winner of a Herald Angel Award; short-listed for The Stage’s Best Actor in Edinburgh; and acclaimed by critics and audiences in ten countries; George Dillon’s solo staging of Steven Berkoff’s Graft – Tales of an Actor is both a unique master-class in the craft of acting and a savage cautionary tale about the perils of entering the theatrical profession.

“One show all those Edinburgh hopefuls should see!”

The Guardian

Graft – Tales of an Actor is a 1998 short story collection from the acerbic pen of theatre legend, Steven Berkoff, which portrays ten chapters in the life and many deaths of Harry, a good actor and a dedicated artist, who is often out of work, rejected and desperate to practise his craft. From Harry’s first audition to enter drama school to his final curtain at Leicester Square tube, Graft – Tales of an Actor unflinchingly exposes the reality and questions the sacrifice of an acting career.

“Berkoff: Brutal, compassionate, brilliant. Examines the actor’s soul with a precision that is acutely painful and appallingly funny!”

Richard E Grant

In 2000 George Dillon condensed the original eleven stories in Graft – Tales of an Actor into a single 100 minute solo show, mostly set to Philip Glass’s soundtrack for Mishima (plus odd tracks from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Leftfield, Ennio Morricone, PiL and Orchestral Pink Floyd). His performance won a Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh Fringe and nominations for Best Actor in The Stage’s Awards for Acting Excellence and Best Fringe Performer in the Manchester Evening News theatre awards.

“Dillon’s performance holds the audience so rapt I am convinced that at points we collectively stopped breathing. Dillon clowns as much as he grimaces, strutting and fretting his hour upon the stage in a way that is intuitive and inventive – the most compelling storytelling you will see!”

The Herald

George Dillon toured Graft – Tales of an Actor extensively in 2001 & 2002, and kept the show in his repertoire continuously until 2018, performing it nearly 200 times, touring throughout the UK and to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Serbia & Canada.

Graft – Tales of an Actor was first published in 1998 by Oberon Books. It is available (signed by the author) from Steven Berkoff’s website.

George Dillon in ‘Graft – Tales of an Actor’, live at The Gantry, Southampton, 23rd September 2000. (Unfortunately this low quality capture of an early performance is the only surviving video of Dillon’s performance in Graft).

“The best example of someone to watch how to perform is George Dillon.”

Steven Berkoff