Available for UK residents to watch online

About the show

For his edition of Artsnight, actor Richard Wilson, star not only of One Foot in the Grave but also Waiting for Godot, shares his love for a playwright recently described as ‘probably the most influential artistic figure of our time’ – Samuel Beckett.

How does this highly experimental, avant-garde playwright speak to us today? Summer 2015 will see a peak of Beckett-mania with two festivals dedicated to this extraordinary writer. Richard Wilson explores some of Beckett’s key works, including Godot and Krapp’s Last Tape, which he performed last year to rave reviews.

He travels to Enniskillen, where his hero went to school, for the 2015 International Beckett Festival, and hears from fellow actors Ian McKellen, Juliet Stevenson and Hugo Weaving, as well as acclaimed director Robert Wilson. Lisa Dwan, who has made Beckett’s notoriously difficult play Not I her signature piece, celebrates the playwright’s love of the female voice. [Watch on BBC iPlayer]

Matt McFrederick on Artsnight

One of the real joys of the working on the Staging Beckett project has been the opportunity to meet and discuss Beckett’s theatre with the practitioners, who have contributed to the 60 year history we (the Staging Beckett team) have been uncovering. Believe it or not, on Monday 13th July another unique opportunity arose as I got to meet the renowned actor and director Richard Wilson, when he travelled to the Beckett Collection at the University of Reading.

Richard was in Reading to interview the University’s Emeritus Professor and Beckett biographer James Knowlson, and view many of the original items stored in the archive concerning the performance history of Waiting for Godot. Their interview will form part of the next episode of BBC’s Artsnight – dedicated to Samuel Beckett – which will air on Friday 31st July at 11pm on BBC2. This programme will be presented by Richard and includes interviews with Jim as well as some of the foremost practitioners of Beckett’s drama including Hugo Weaving, Lisa Dwan and Juliet Stephenson, as well as a visit to the Happy Days Enniskillen Beckett Festival in Northern Ireland. [Read More over at Staging Beckett]

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Posted by:Rhys Tranter

Rhys Tranter is a writer and photographer who specialises in twentieth-century and contemporary culture. His writing has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, and a number of books and periodicals.

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