Public Panel and Conversation, Wednesday 1 August 2018, 11am-1pm
“Samuel Beckett wrote and reflected constantly about the nature and meaning of embodiment, and as a result he continues to be an important touchstone in the growing field of Disability Studies. Researchers from both English and Creative Arts backgrounds have a growing interest in exploring how diverse physical, sensorial, developmental and psychological abilities manifest themselves in literature and in performance, and Beckett’s work provides many examples in terms of both practice and theory.
The Samuel Beckett Summer School, celebrating its eighth year of working at the cutting edge of new discourses in Beckett Studies, will offer a panel discussion and “long table” event on the topic of Beckett and Disability as its traditional Wednesday morning “plenary” discussion. Chaired by a researcher focusing in this area, Siobhán Purcell (NUI Galway), the panel will discuss a wide range of issues, including the representation of disability/ability in Beckett’s literature, as well as the theatre contexts in which Beckett’s work has been engaged by neurodiverse performers. The recent work of Touretteshero, especially their production of Not I in London, will be discussed by Jonathan Heron (University of Warwick). Other panelists, including Julie Bates (TCD, English) and Declan Reilly (TCD, Disability Service) will speak to the implications of accessibility and neurodiversity in education, policy, and philosophical landscapes.
The panel will run from 11 AM to approximately noon, and after a short break, the audience will be invited to contribute with a structured but open discussion until 1 PM. The event will be open to the public, accessible, and free of charge (but ticketed).”
As Marek Kedzierski plans another multidisciplinary and international celebration of Beckett, the SBSS asked him about his hugely ambitious and successful 2017 fail.better:beckett@111, and to find out what he has in mind for his new venture.
“A novel by Samuel Beckett has been adapted for the stage for the first time by a University of Reading student.
Judy Hegarty-Lovett, a PhD student in Film, Theatre and Television (FTT) and an established theatre practitioner, drew on the university’s world-leading Samuel Beckett Collection to influence her direction of How It Is.
The play opened in Cork, Ireland, in February and has just finished a run at The Print Room in Notting Hill, London.”
Critics described the production of How It Is as a ‘mesmerising adaptation’ and ‘ambitious’ and ‘ingenious’.”
Beckett Chamber Music Series explores the connection between words and music – thematically, expressively, temporally and spatially. The Series is inspired by Samuel Beckett’s reduction of artistic expression into a medium which blurs the line between words and music.
The 2018 Series brings together Ireland’s finest musicians, collaborating with renowned Beckett actors Barry McGovern and Stephen Brennan, for intensive artistic discovery, to be shared with audiences in three themed concerts in the dramatic yet intimate Boys School at Smock Alley Theatre on the quays in Dublin city centre between 24 and 30 June.
The Series culminates in a concert performance of Samuel Beckett’s radio play Words and Music with Morton Feldman’s 1987 score. The performance features Barry McGovern as Words/Joe, Stephen Brennan as Croak and Beckett Chamber Music Series musicians in the role on Music/Bob. The performance is directed by Everett Frost, who produced and directed the award-winning American national broadcast premieres of Beckett’s five completed radio plays. Preceding Beckett’s radio play are performances of Edgard Varèse Density 21.5 for solo flute and chamber works by Morton Feldman including Vertical Thoughts II and Four Instruments. When discussing the play with academic, Katherine Worth, Beckett made the perhaps surprising comment, “Music always wins”.
Authorised Beckett biographer James Knowlson shares previously unpublished insights into Beckett’s most famous play; Michael Coffey reviews two distinctive Beckett productions in New York City; Gabriel Quigley sits down with the artistic director of Company SJ, Sarah Jane Scaife; Rhys Tranter asks Beckett scholar Paul Stewart about his decision to appear in a production of Krapp’s Last Tape; and much more
April 13th marks 112 years since the birth of Irish writer, playwright, and Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett. To celebrate, we at the Samuel Beckett Society have assembled a collection of links to celebrate his life, work, and legacy. Enjoy!
Samuel Beckett first published novel, Murphy, is a comic romp around 1930s London and through the ‘little world’ of the human mind. Beckett weaves together reflections on madness, spirituality, and ginger biscuits with a Swiftian satirical fervour. In a day school at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, attendees will explore how Beckett’s own life and interests shaped the novel by reading his letters and notebooks alongside the text itself. The course takes place on 21 April 2018, and is hosted by Beckett scholar Andy Wimbush. Visit the University of Cambridge website for more information.
“While Beckett is often seen as impenetrable and difficult, there is so much in this work that is strangely comfortable and familiar. There are many rewards to be found in it if you abandon the compulsion to make sense of it all, and just let it wash over you.
At the end, by whatever strange alchemy is wrought I feel enervated and alive rather than consumed by existential angst. A tale of the unexpected.”