Beckett’s works stand the test of time
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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