These four short plays by Samuel Beckett are performed within sixty minutes without an interval, and showcase some of his finest work. Typical of Beckett’s plays, his stage directions are always exactingly detailed and precise, preventing any changes/interpretations being made to his plays.
Always stitched within his unflinching need for perfection including precisely chosen words, are his quite extraordinary and often absurdist examinations of the human condition.
Every theatre-goer has a different experience, and form their own vivid interpretations of what they see and what they hear, because of the numerous theatrical aspects contained within every Samuel Beckett play.
Before the performance, the audience was treated in the foyer, to a very interactive element, with all the actors commenting on the posthumous impact Samuel Beckett has had on the theatre world.
QUAD (1981) has four hooded and faceless players, creating a geometrical mime with light and percussion, by moving constantly around along the quadrants then passing through the centre of a white cross, but always able to avoid collision by following a precise mathematical formula. Samuel Beckett achieved an entirely brand new means of expression by eliminating language.
COME AND GO (1965) is Samuel Beckett’s perfect ensemble piece with three female childhood friends, Flo, Vi, and Ru, who, gossiping two at a time, reveal their lives past, present and future, with less than 130 words spoken.
ROCKABY (1980) is a sad female monologue which has a frail elderly woman, dressed in her ‘best black’, seated in a rocking chair that apparently starts and stops “rocking of its own accord” whilst dealing with her needs, desires, obsession, isolation, observation, life and death.
CATASTROPHE (1982) is arguably Beckett’s most political piece that was written for Vaclav Havel, the then imprisoned Czech reformer and playwright.
The play depicts a strict final rehearsal, for the spectacle of a one man play requiring absolute stillness. We watch the incessant and impatient demands of an autocratic director, constantly and needlessly tweaking the action to suit his personal vision, aided by his note-taking female Assistant.
Cast – Aslam Abdus-samad, Bodelle de Ronde, Gideon Payten Griffiths, Pollyanna Nowicki, Sophie Littler, Victoria Griener
Creatives- Director Erica J Brennan, Lighting design- Amber Silk, Sound Design- Thomas Brennan, Production Design- Victor Kalka, Graphic Design- Kamila Borkowska, Photography- Stephen Godfrey, Trainer- Shy Magsalin.
Note- The cast all train together with NINEFOLD- a theatre ensemble that presents plays examined and rehearsed through the lens of ‘The Suzuki Method of Actor Training’ to deepen their inquiry into stillness with the intention to have breath, silence and the observed self as a common language).
METAFOUR is playing the PACT Theatre, 107 Railway Parade, Erskineville until Saturday 15th August. Performance times Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm.