Becket fizzles under Old Earth

Last night I went to see a world premier - woo hoo.  I doubt it will rock anyone's world, but it moved me for sure.

Old Earth is also going to be something for me to edit into the bibliography of Beckett on Wikipedia, which will be an interesting thing to do.

What is this event I speak of you ask?

So far as I understand it Beckett wrote some ramblings towards the end of his life, called "Fizzles" by him and one of these gave the production it's title ("Old Earth").  Many written in French, which surprised me as I always thought of Beckett as monolingual.  These have inspired a production that intersperses a number of them with a choral score.  The resulting production was staged last night within a remarkable space in London called "The Village Underground" (so called not because it is subterranean especially, rather because there are tube carriages from the London Underground perched a hundred or so feet up on top of stacked portacabin container accommodations!).

I was entranced throughout and the acoustics were great for some of the fun vocal tricks and harmonies - it seems an audition requirement of The Sixteen could be rolling R's!  Interspersing this with intense wordage and imagery from Becket was a nice contrast.

And as to the words - well it is very clear Beckett was obsessed with his own mortality and intertwined with this the creative process. One could feel the towering ego of the man as he described how his theatre would die with him.  One could also see his visions of death.  This, even moreso than things like Dostoyevsky's life history, makes me glad I do not try to engage with a creative muse.  What a curse lay on Beckett!

But what a gift he left mankind

On a lighter note it was worth the extremely reasonable entry ticket just to see Harry Christophers dressed slightly tramp-like with a token smattering of dust and the odd tear to his tailcoat!  Given his conducting was as wonderfully clear and evocative as ever this was a lovely contrast and really made him come alive as a person at the performance, I'll be able to listen to them with less prejudice now, hopefully.