Australian satirist and theatre icon Max Gillies stars in Krapp’s Last Tape, Samuel Beckett’s remarkable duet for solo performer and tape recorder, at fortyfivedownstairs for a limited season from 31 October 2018.
The comic meets the tragic in this timeless evocation of memory, existence and lost love, as Krapp, now in his 70th year, prepares for the last annual recording of his aspirations and disappointments.
As befits a play about the marking and recording of anniversaries, this production marks the 60th anniversary of its first staging, and the 50th anniversary of Max Gillies’ first portrayal of the title role. He is well versed in the works of Samuel Beckett, having ventured into the playwright’s “theatre of the absurd” several times in his early career.
“The most indelible memories from my early stage adventures were playing Vladimir in his vain expectation of Godot’s attendance; Clov, the put-upon carer of the tyrannical Hamm, coping with the Endgame; and the most haunted of them all, Krapp, the ascetic author excoriating himself for his human weaknesses,” says Gillies.
“I found these desiccated clowns strangely appealing, and delighted that audiences shared the attraction. I’ve long wanted to revisit them and fortyfivedownstairs is the ideal place in which to experience their creator’s mordant stoicism.”
Following the tremendous success of L’amante anglaise, fortyfivedownstairs is delighted to be collaborating with Beckett aficionado Laurence Strangio to present Krapp’s Last Tape in its anniversary year, and to once again showcase a great Australian performer in a tour de force role.
From Jillian Murray and Helen Morse, to Paul Capsis and Maria Mercedes, we’ve seen time and time again that the intimacy of fortyfivedownstairs provides the perfect setting to experience great performances up close. Gillies’ return as Krapp will be no exception.
Samuel Beckett was an Irish novelist, playwright and poet – who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. His first published work was an essay on his friend, and renowned Irish novelist, James Joyce. Beckett went on to write his famous trilogy of novels Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnameable, and his first and most celebrated play, Waiting for Godot.
This play began Beckett’s association with Theatre of the Absurd, which influenced later playwrights such as Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard. His subsequent plays include Endgame and Happy Days – his work often characterised by a tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.
Director: Laurence Strangio Starring: Max Gillies
Krapp’s Last Tape
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 1 – 11 November 2018 (preview: 31 October)
Information and Bookings: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com
Image: Max Gillies in Krapp’s Last Tape (supplied)