Beckett Centenary Festival Set For April
- Beckett Centenary Festival Set For April
Deirdre Falvey, Arts Editor
"The room was dark and full of people hastening to and fro, malefactors,
policemen, lawyers, priests and journalists ... . " was the phrase (from
Samuel Beckett's Molloy) applied by John O'Donoghue to a large gathering of
artists, actors and promoters last night as details of next month's Beckett
Centenary Festival in Dublin were announced.
More than 20 events - theatre, film, visual art, broadcasting, exhibitions -
aim to illuminate Beckett's drama and prose and his influences on other
artists working in a variety of media. The festival marks 100 years since
Beckett's birth, on Good Friday (April 13th) in 1906.
Philip Furlong of the Department of Arts and chairman of the Beckett
Centenary Committee, introduced the Minister and Beckett Centenary Committee
chairman Michael Colgan, of the Gate Theatre, Dublin, who shared memories of
working with Beckett.
"If this festival achieves anything," said Colgan, "I would like for it to
put paid to the myth of Sam Beckett being a gloomy, humourless, pessimistic
pedant. The Beckett I got to know in Paris in the 1980s was quite the
opposite. A man with a wicked sense of humour which, if it was at anyone's
expense, could only have been his own."
The Gate is presenting nine Beckett plays (simultaneously with the Barbican
in London), and some actors in those productions travelled to Dublin for the
festival launch: Siân Phillips, who is in Rockaby, and John Hurt, who
reprises his role in Krapp's Last Tape.
Others in the large hall in the restored College of Physicians in Kildare
Street included Edward Beckett, nephew of Samuel, RTÉ director general
Cathal Goan, actors including David Kelly, Johnny Murphy, Mark Lambert, Nick
Dunning, Alison Doody and Owen Roe, director Michael Caven and Gaiety MD
The month's celebrations include Beckett's Ghosts, four of the later plays
presented by Bedrock Productions; Dublin painter Cian McLoughlin's series of
large-scale portraits of actors and an exhibition of photographs of Beckett
taken by his friend, the Irish photographer John Minihan
Kathy Prendergast's sculpture A Dream Of Discipline; and Mark McLoughlin's
video installation The Paradise; an exhibition about Beckett's life; and
Access All Beckett from Gare St Lazare Players will also be part of the
There will be an exhibition of Philip Guston's and Bruce Nauman's work at
the RHA Gallagher Gallery, along with three filmed pieces by Beckett, an
installation by sculptor Michael Warren and an artist's talk by American
artist Robert Gober. Documentaries, archive films and a series called
Directing Beckett, to be presented by the Irish Film Institute, will tour
Ireland, and the Irish premiere of Morton Feldman's Quartet No 2 will be
performed by the Pellegrini Quartet at the NCH.
American artist Jenny Holzer will project Beckett's texts on to landmarks in
Dublin city centre at night; and an exhibition, Samuel Beckett: A Passion
for Painting, opens in June at the National Gallery, which will also host a
series of musical events in April.
© The Irish Times