Showing @ Traverse Theatre Jan 21 & 22 @ 19:30
Sometimes in theatre there’s a perfect symbiosis between performer and material and there are few better examples of this than Conor Lovett and the works of Samuel Beckett. Since the 1990s Lovett and the company Gare St Lazare have gained a reputation as the finest interpreters of the writer’s work in the world and Lovett is considered the perfect mouthpiece for Beckett’s haunting, absurdist, existential prose.
Influenced by Proust and Jung as well as his own upbringing the Trilogy (Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable) is a study in identity without answers, a retreat from reality into the comfort of despair, a celebration of the slow disintegration of the body and a collection of memoirs full of unreliable memories. As with all Beckett’s work there’s no point in looking for a narrative or story arc and interpretation lies almost entirely in the hands for the audience but again as with all of his work, plays or prose, it’s still somehow more sustaining than most simple narrative fiction.
Conor Lovett’s sympathetic intelligent but also simple playing of Beckett’s work has justifiably been praised for understanding and interpreting the beauty of the text as well as the humour and passages of emotion which often get forgotten. Lovett’s ability to draw the audience in and to create, from the limited clues in the works themselves believable and engaging characters which can, as in this case, hold an audience spellbound for three full hours is at the heart of his success and has allowed him to overcome many theatregoers resistance to the writer’s work.
It’s true people are afraid of Beckett, they find the stream of consciousness dialogue and the lack of concrete characterisation intimidating, however sometimes when your scared it’s important to have a hand to hold and and when it comes to Samuel Beckett there’s no safer pair of hands than Conor Lovett.