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Sunday 19 May 2013

Btn Fest Review - Here All Night Unravelled The Genius Of Samuel Beckett @ The Old Market

The musical interludes, or was the music between the spoken bits the interludes? I don"t know, it does not matter, but anyway they punctuated this production like the fine calligraphy of forgotten Celtic monks; all rich reds and fine golden leaf on vellum papers in bound solemn volumes.



It has the finely honed repetitive qualities of the sea on the crunch-gravel shore, rolling pebbles in its wake. It had the qualities of the little puffs of air that float about on a summer night to cool your forehead. 

It had the quality of light, sparkling on the water in Cornish lighthouse bays. It floated and massed like the clouds that spindle across the Sussex sky in pink-tinted glows by evening suns, it made us think and it made us dream.

The spoken word was like the rolling hills coming off the South Downs, the feel of the light grasses hugging warm to the light flint soils and chalk cliff drops, the distant blue, the butterflies on bright wild flowers, the hill forts with all their lost stories of love and death and the round graves of Bronze Age kings - we know and yet we don"t know, we are certain but full of doubt, it seems obvious but of course it is not. 

This is Beckett.

Samuel Beckett is the greatest playwright the world has ever seen, but his novels and short stories are a revelation in themselves. 

Or rather they are not, for when Beckett reveals one thing he hides another, when he appears to be reaching the truth we realise that we were always on the wrong road, when his text appears at its most mundane, well that is when we must await some kind of revelation.

Not that Beckett is an answerer of old questions, he is better than that; he is a poser of new ones.


He asks questions we cannot believe we never asked ourselves, questions that we never thought of, questions that we somehow feel we always knew but could not quite put our finger on to ask. 

In short he was, and is, a genius.

The Gare St Lazare Players Ireland at The Old Market, Hove (Fri 17th  and Sunday 19th May 2013) need no praise from me for they know how good they are. 

Connor Lovett, who I have seen before, is the voice I hear in my head when I read Beckett's prose, and there are few more honest compliments than that. 

This attempt to bring together music song and text from the work of Samuel Beckett is a very successful one indeed. 

These texts may have been intended to be read, but they do very nicely when sliced up into short monologues. 

This was a performance of a supreme confidence borne of talent and very hard work and one of total quality and an assured touch.

If you missed this then you missed out and lets hope that these highly talented people will return to our city soon. 

Brighton Festival continues throughout this month. See brightonfestival.org for more details.


by: Howard Young (Arts Editor)




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