19:00, Wed 27th – Fri 29th April 2011 at Judith E. Wilson Drama Studio
Easter Week 0
Over the course of three evenings, associates of the Faculty of English and the Judith E. Wilson Drama Studio aim to introduce the work of a figure both deliberately ambiguous and disarmingly accessible. The 27th and the 28th will feature two student productions of well-known Beckett plays, beginning them with a short lecture and ending them in discussion. The final evening invites performers from Cambridge and Europe to present their theatrical responses to a writer who has influenced both them and the modern stage at large.
Happy Days – 27th April An alarm clock rings and a woman starts her morning, buried waist deep in a mound of sand. Rifling through her bag for her lipstick, her toothbrush, her pet revolver, Winnie is determined that this is going to be ‘another happy day’.
Written at the start of the 1960s, Happy Days is one of Samuel Beckett’s last major dramatic pieces for the stage. Next to the bemused pair of Waiting for Godot and the tyrannical presence of Endgame’s Hamm, Winnie remains among the most endearing figures of the tragicomic. Conscious always of the threat of despair, she is determined to face the absurd with grace.
Krapp’s Last Tape – 28th April
Krapp sits alone with a reel-to-reel tape recorder and the neatly filed recordings of his life. In between a fetish for bananas and liquor, he pores over a history of romantic conquests…
‘Plans for a less…(hesitates)…engrossing sexual life’
…women eventually given up in pursuit of the mind. Now, somewhere and nowhere, we watch as they encroach upon his solipsism.