The Bike Shed Theatre

Winter Warmed: Over Thirty Years

A four-part evening, following the developments in Becketts’ writing over time.

All that Fall (1957)

A rehearsed reading of an extract.
By professional Actors Martin Reeve and Gillie Stoneham.

Septuagenarian Mrs Rooney is on the way to the railway station to meet her husband. She is a woman ‘in a state of abortive explosiveness’. In this early radio play, Beckett shows us a surprisingly accessible landscape, a place we can recognise. It offers a bridge between the familiar, yet absurd (like the novels of Flann O’Brien) and the more stripped back arena’s of his later works.

Embers (1959)

A rehearsed reading onstage, performed by Martin Reeve and Gillie Stoneham.

‘I know creatures are supposed to have no secrets for their authors, but I’m afraid mine for me have little else’ (Beckett).

Written for radio, a medium which Beckett describes as ‘coming out of the dark’, this is a haunting and often beautiful piece. Henry sits on a beach apparently talking to his dead father who was drowned at this very spot, and to his (presumably) dead wife. He is tormented by the sound of the sea and struggles to avoid it by talking. The sounds of the natural world, the sea, horses hooves, clashing pebbles, interweave and collide with the sounds of the human-made world, stories, conversations and music.

Breath (1969)

Presented by Paul Bull

Can Beckett’s Breath be performed dramatically? Is it a play? Or is a concept. Similarly, is John Cage’s 4’33’ (of silence) really music?

In Breath, Beckett attempts to dramatise the brief flicker of time between two great silences, from cradle to grave. The direction “Silence and hold about five seconds” occurs 3 times.

This brief performance invites the audience to listen, to listen intensely while they watch, watch intently.

A Piece of Monologue (1979)

Performed by Les Read who retired as Senior Lecturer in Drama at University of Exeter in 2005

Les Read has taught and directed Beckett's works in Britain and U.S.A. over 44 years. His productions have included All That Fall, Waiting for Godot, Play, Come and Go, Not I, That Time and Footfalls.  A Piece of Monologue written for the actor David Warrilow, was composed by Beckett when he was 73. As Ruby Cohn has observed: " The piece is at once a lament for the brevity of life, a threnody for a primeval family, and a lyric about lyricizing".

£10/£7 Concessions. Part of Winter Warmed: A three-week festival of performances, workshops, films, presentations and discussions celebrating the unique theatre of Samuel Beckett, through the talents of local and regional theatre makers.