Posted in 1st Irish Fesitval, George Bernard Shaw, Irish theatre, Samuel Beckett, Yiddish Waiting for Godot

Vahr ist Godot?

Poster from 1st Irish website

Samuel Beckett gets a fresh start as New Yiddish Rep renders his seminal absurdist masterwork “Waiting for Godot” in Yiddish for the first time, at the Barrow Street Theatre beginning tomorrow, Thursday, September 4th.  The play is translated by Shane Baker, and returns to New York for 12 performances only through September 21.

“Vartn Auf Godo” is presented in New York  on the heels of its European premiere in Northern Ireland where it opened the 3rd annual Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival, which ran from July 31 to August 10. Beckett wrote the play in ’48-’49 although its world premiere at the Théatre de Babylone in Paris did not occur until 1953. 

This production of this Irish born playwright’s work is presented as part of Origin’s 1st Irish Festival.

Not part of the 1st Irish, but an Irishman nonetheless, and an oft-quoted playwright, George Bernard Shaw is the Gingold Theatrical Group’s “project” on Mondays at Symphony Space. 

GBSwas never shy about the breadth and places in which his ideas played out. His “Village Wooing,” written in 1933,is a romance set on the high seas. See the seldom-seen play for two voices at GTG at Symphony Space on Monday, Sep 29th. 

For more on “Vartn Auf Godo” and the Origin’s 1st Irish Festival, please visit http://1stirish.org/. To find out about GTG’s Shaw Project and “Village Wooing,” please visit http://www.symphonyspace.org/.

Posted in directed by Trevor Nunn, Eileen Atkins, Michael Gambon, radio play, Samuel Beckett

"All That Fall," Samuel Beckett’s Radio Play: A funny thing happened on the way to the train station….

Weavving the extraordinary from the everyday is the poet’s privilege and gift.

In Samuel Beckett’s “All That Fall, A Radio Play,” at 59E59 Theaters through December 8th under the direction of Trevor Nunn, the ordinary characters of an Irish country town are out and about on a fine morning.

Eileen Atkins, Catherine Cusack, Frank Grimes, and Billy Carter
in Samuel Beckett’s “All That Fall,”  directed by Trevor Nunn,
at 59E59 Theaters. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

The aged Mrs. Rooney (Eileen Atkins) is on her way to the railroad station to meet her husband’s train. Along the way, she complains and berates her neighbors as she goes.

Each of them is a slightly skewed stock figure on parade. Her first exchange is with Christy (Ruairi Conaghan), pulling his stubborn mare and dung cart. “How is your poor wife?,” Mrs. Rooney inquires while Christy in turn offers her some dung. “What we want with dung at our time of life?”

Mrs. Rooney next encounters Mr. Tyler (Frank Grimes) on his bicycle, and Mr. Slocum (Trevor Cooper) offers her a lift in his automobile, and is tasked with hiking her up into the car.

But Mrs Rooney’s crispest exchanges are with the stationmaster, Mr. Barrell (James Hayes), and the pious spinster, Miss Fitt (Catherine Cusack.) When Dan Rooney (Michael Gambon) finally comes off the train, led by the boy Jerry (Liam Thrift) he is all misery and bluster.

Michael Gambon as Dan Rooney and Eileen Atkins as Mrs. Rooney in “All That Fall,” under the direction of Trevor Nunn at 59E59 Theaters through December 8th. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Staged as a radio play, with sound effects (with Paul Groothuis leading the sound design), and old -style microphones dangling from the ceiling across the nearly bare set (designed by Cherry Truluck), “All That Fall” is read from textts in the actors’ hands. As gthe fine morning wears away, “All That Fall” is soggy and depressing.

For more information about “All That Fall,” please visit 59e59.org.