Appear highbrow without trying by reading…
Téip Dheireanach Krapp. An Amharclann Nua.
Samuel Beckett- Traschruthaithe ag Gabriel Rosenstock
Review by Helen O’Leary
Gearrdhráma de chuid Samuel Beckett é seo faoi sheanduine, scríbhneoir. Tá an fear seo tar éis téipthaifeadadh a dhéanamh go bliantúil síos trí na blianta ag cur síos agus ag machnamh ar a shaol féin. Anois, agus é ag druidim leis an seachtó bliain, suíonn sé síos ar a aonar ag a dheasc agus éisteann sé le taifeadadh de féin a rinne sé tríocha bliain ó shin.
This short play by Samuel Beckett is about an older man, who over the years has made annual tape recordings describing and reflecting on his life. Now on the cusp of his seventieth year he sits alone at his writing desk and listens back to a thirty-year-old recording of himself.
In the play we meet one character called Krapp, but encounter two very different men, an older and younger version. Years of excessive banana and alcohol consumption have brought obvious physical changes to Krapp. He squints, he stumbles, and he leans in close to listen. But in his outlook and attitude to life we see the greatest transformation. The younger man on the tape recording sounds confident and self-important. He recounts his romantic exploits in a clear and refined voice. The older Krapp is world-weary; he has no further expectations of life and feels he has achieved little. Listening back he is both repelled and enthralled by the young man on the tape recording.
For those of with shaky Irish comprehension skills, much in the play is communicated non-verbally. It is fascinating to observe the older Krapp react to his younger self with a raised eyebrow, an involuntary twitch or cock of the head or a perplexed stare. Macdara Ó Fátharta’s performance captures perfectly the trembling but deliberate movements of an old man. His Connemara lilt drawing attention to the music of Beckett’s language, rolling his words and drawing out his vowels.
This translation is the work of Gabriel Rosenstock, a well-known poet and Irish translator and is its first staging. The physicality of the play, the simplicity of the scenario and repetition of the recordings help make this play accessible, a perfect taste of Beckett even for those of us with imperfect Irish. As the play draws to a close Krapp makes a new tape recording. He vows that he would not want those youthful years returned in spite of the opportunities passed over and love lost. As the stage light dims the reel of Krapp’s last tape spins out towards its end.
Déanann Krapp téipthaifeadadh nua agus an dráma ag teacht chun deiridh. Maíonn sé nár mhaith leis filleadh ar bhlianta úd a óige, d’ainneoin na deiseanna nár tapaíodh agus an grá a d’éalaigh. Teipeann solas an stáitse agus spólann an ríl de théip dheireanach Krapp i dtreo a deireadh.
Téip Dheireanach Krappruns at the New Theatre until June 14th.
Samuel Beckett – Traschruthaithe ag Gabriel Rosenstock
Mouth On Fire and The New Theatre
Jun 9th – Jun 14th
Tickets: €15 (€12 conc)
Samuel Beckett, Krapp’s Last Tape, Translation by Gabriel Rosenstock.