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Authorised Beckett biographer James Knowlson shares previously unpublished insights into Beckett’s most famous play; Michael Coffey reviews two distinctive Beckett productions in New York City; Gabriel Quigley sits down with the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.”
On Wednesday 21 March, the Beckett community at the University of Reading welcomes acclaimed actor Lisa Dwan to discuss the process of adapting Beckett’s prose for the theatre. In her 2016 performance of No’s Knife at London’s Old Vic theatre, Dwan confronted both the challenges and the possibilities of adapting Beckett’s prose for performance by a female actor in her staging of excerpts from Texts for Nothing. This discussion of Beckett and adaptation with Lisa Dwan will be followed by a Q&A session.
On a bare road in the middle of nowhere, two world-weary friends await the arrival of the mysterious Godot. While waiting, they speculate, bicker, joke and ponder life’s greater questions. As dusk begins to fall, two figures appear on the horizon.
Regarded as one of the most significant plays of the twentieth century, Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett is a masterpiece that draws endless interpretations. Directed by Garry Hynes, Druid present a new production of this seminal work featuring members of the acclaimed Druid Ensemble: Garrett Lombard, Aaron Monaghan, Rory Nolan and Marty Rea.
Over the years, Beckett Studies have undergone multiple transformations: from early existentialist approaches to post-structuralist interventions, to performance-oriented studies, and genetic criticism. The last two decades have seen a surge in scholarship that probes the relations between Beckett and media technologies. This conference brings together some of the leading scholars who have focused on the nexus between Beckett and media while opening its doors to media theorists from outside of Beckett Studies who have a strong interest in his work.