ENDS AND ODDS by Samuel Beckett


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Like his most recent fiction (Fizzles), Beckett's new drama comes in short, held breaths. The outstanding work among these eight pieces--for television and radio as well as theater--is Not I, which premiered at Lincoln Center in 1972 and which dictates a stage that is dark except for a ""MOUTH"" (Jessica Tandy at Lincoln Center)--and a faintly lit, hooded ""AUDITOR."" The monologue that Beckett gives to MOUTH tests the endurance of the actress and, perhaps, the patience of the audience, but its cumulative effect could be chilling, frightening, and moving. In That Time, never before published, there is only the face of a ""LISTENER"" and offstage voices. Footfalls (recently seen at Washington's Arena Stage) and most of the TV/radio pieces involve somewhat more interaction, while Ghost Trio consists largely of camera, music, and mime directions. Throughout these tight, precise programs, simple words are arranged in provocative, image-triggering clusters--and stifled screams blend with barely remembered music to create those ghostly Beckett soundchambers.

Pub Date: Feb. 17th, 1977
ISBN: 0802150462
Publisher: Grove