As well as an actor, Berkoff is a noted playwright and theatre director. His earliest plays are adaptations of works by Franz Kafka: The Metamorphosis (1969); In the Penal Colony (1969) and The Trial (1971). In the 1970s and 1980s, he wrote a series of verse plays including East (1975), Greek (1980) and Decadence (1981), followed by West (1983) later adapted and recorded at Limehouse Studios for transmission on C4 television in 1983, Harry's Christmas (Lunch) also recorded at Limehouse Studios in 1983 was never transmitted by C4 as it was considered "too dark", Sink the Belgrano! (1986), Massage (1997) and The Secret Love Life of Ophelia (2001). Berkoff described Sink the Belgrano! as "even by my modest standards . . . one of the best things I have done".