Beck­ett’s works stand the test of time

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KA­RINA ABADIA

Mem­ory is the com­mon theme run­ning through a col­lec­tion of Sa­muel Beck­ett’s works at Q Theatre.

Ed­ward New­born is the solo ac­tor in the three short plays en­ti­tled Breath: Three Sa­muel Beck­ett Works, which is be­ing di­rected by St Mary’s Bay res­i­dent Paul Git­tins.

This is the New Zealand pre­miere for Breath and That Time but it is the third time the pair have put on Krapp’s Last Tape over the past 30 years.

Beck­ett was ahead of his time when he cre­ated the 35-sec­ond play Breath, New­born says.

‘‘The play is like a kind of per­for­mance art piece and it en­cap­su­lates life, death and ev­ery­thing in be­tween,’’ he says.

That Time is a dream sce­nario where voices from three stages of the char­ac­ter’s life are rep­re­sented, New­born says.

In the play Krapp’s Last Tape the char­ac­ter lis­tens back to tapes he’d made in his youth.

It’s quite spe­cial be­cause the record­ing used in the play is the orig­i­nal one New­born made for the Theatre Cor­po­rate pro­duc­tion years ago, he says.

‘‘Krapp starts off by dis­miss­ing what he’s just heard.

‘‘Then he goes back and relis­tens to a very poignant piece.

‘‘I think he does that be­cause he’s try­ing to re­live that mo­ment and imag­ine

30 what might have been.’’

Beck­ett’s take on life is that it’s a bit of a cos­mic joke, Git­tins says.

‘‘He doesn’t dress it up or try to pre­tend it’s some­thing that it isn’t.’’

The play may have been first per­formed in 1958 but the hu­man con­di­tion doesn’t change, he says.

‘‘He strips ev­ery­thing away to essen­tials and says: this is how it is.

‘‘That comes through in all of his plays.’’

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