Critically acclaimed Beckett trilogy comes to Birmingham

Rep date for best-selling performances.

Following a sell-out run in the West End and at the Royal Court Theatre, a critically acclaimed trilogy of Samuel Beckett plays, performed by actress Lisa Dwan, comes to Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 16th to 20th September.

In May 2013, Lisa Dwan’s performance of Beckett’s landmark piece Not I was staged at the Royal Court, forty years after the theatre held its UK premiere in 1973. The entire run sold out, with extra dates added due to demand as both critics and audiences weere captivated by Beckett’s unique piece and Lisa’s performance.

In January 2014, Lisa returned to the Royal Court to reprise Not I alongside two more classics Footfalls and Rockaby, directed by Beckett’s long-time collaborator, Walter Asmus. Again, the run sold out, before transferring to the Duchess Theatre in the West End, where it played to full houses and further critical acclaim.

Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre said: “When Not I opened at the Royal Court in May, it was an unforgettable and special experience for all who saw it. On announcing that Lisa Dwan would return, this time to perform a trilogy of Beckett’s work, it sold out quickly once again. It is heartening to see there is such a demand for this work and I’m delighted that we are bringing this extraordinary piece of theatre to Birmingham so it can be seen by a wider audience.”

Not I is an intense monologue, set in a pitch-black space lit by a single beam of light. A disembodied female mouth floats eight feet above the stage and delivers a stream of consciousness, spoken, as Beckett directed, at the speed of thought. Lisa Dwan was tutored in the role by Billie Whitelaw, who originally performed the part at its 1973 UK premiere and was personally coached for the part by Beckett himself.

Rockaby is probably the most famous of Beckett’s last works. It explores loneliness and features a prematurely old woman dressed in an evening gown, sitting on a wooden rocking chair that appears to rock of its own accord. Rockaby was first performed in New York in 1981 starring Billie Whitelaw and then at the National Theatre in 1982.

Footfalls features the distant voice of ‘Mother’ and May who paces back and forth like a metronome, on a bare strip of floor. Footfalls was first performed by Billie Whitelaw, for whom the piece had been written, at the Royal Court as part of the Samuel Beckett Festival in 1976, directed by Beckett.

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