Mora Grey worked alongside Samuel Beckett at the Royal Court Theatre in
What was he really like? We find out as we see Beckett in a theatre setting, deeply troubled by the latest production of his acclaimed play Krapp's Last Tape with Albert Finney in the title role.
It is the day of the first performance.
Beckett's looming presence disturbs the Director, the Designer, the Wardrobe Mistress, the Flyman and the Actor.
This disturbance leads to unexpected and tragic events.
This play is based on a true story.
Beckett's Last Act is an engrossing and many layered play presented by the Isosceles Theatre Company and based on the novel by Mora Grey..... Her own play is thick with references to personal crises and obsessive disorder. It's very existence, like it's contents, raises the Krapp-like question of what is true, what happened and what is a construction of the memory.....The figure of Beckett cannot help but have a spectral element, never mind the accuracy of Dave Marsden's portrayal. It is rather as if the playwright has now graduated to the level of theatre ghost and has come back to haunt his own legacy. What unfolds in the 100 minutes of the play is a series of monologues so full of references to the other characters in the story that they amount to a virtual or remotely conducted conversation....An excellent cast, two of whom, Marsden and Pat Abernethy, have been developing the Isosceles repertoire for more than 30 years. In this play they are in a sense on home ground, being graduates of Trinity College Dublin, as was Beckett. What would he have made of all this? My view is he would have been gripped. He would have laughed too.
* * * * London Theatre1.com
The interior dialogue of the psyche and particularly that of playwright Samuel Beckett is explored in this play by Isosceles Productions, which is dramatically presented through a series of monologues...The lack of direct interaction between the actors adds tension, menace and even humour to the production....The audience is caught up in deeply personal revelations made by the characters...and with all the characters the audience is drawn into the emotion of their situation, their egos, isolation, febrile fears and a whole gamut of human passion....Dave Marsden gives a convincing portrayal of Beckett, his ego, his creativity and perception of his own mortality...The play does not provide a neat expose of Beckett, as the insights and revelations in the play only lead the audience to further intrigue. Overall this was great thought-provoking theatre which you feel will inform your next viewing of a Beckett play.
Daily Info, Oxford
This adaptation by the Isosceles Theatre Company of Mora Grey's novel 'Beckett's Last Act', opens in darkness to Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10 in E minor. The lights go up and we are introduced to the Wardrobe Mistress, sitting backstage during the angst ridden final rehearsal of Samuel Beckett's bleak, introspective one man play, Krapp's Last Tape. The production takes the form of individual monologues....It is the day of the first performance, and one by one we are made privy to the character's doubts, both about the perceived shortcomings of the production and their own private dilemmas and motivations....The sound of a ticking clock separating each monologue neatly reminds us of the play's imminent deadlines, whilst emphasizing the characters' existential isolation. In the end, the understated revelation of a tradgedy jars the audience, leaving questions unresolved, but in an intriguing and stimulating way. Both the production and cast were exemplary, with Dave Marsden's Beckett a stand out performance.
We suggested (to the BBC) that we could also produce a new production
of 'Krapp's Last Tape' to go along with your terrific play ....it is an
excellent drama and we do hope you will find more outlets for it in the
theatre....we felt it would have been a great and rather unique 75 minutes on
Martin Jarvis, Jarvis and Ayres Productions
Thanks for bringing 'Beckett's Last Act ' to Stroud during our Theatre
Festival. I found the show a fascinating insight into, not only a great artist
like Beckett, but also into the machinations behind the scenes in every
theatre. The monologues really worked as a vehicle to get the story across and
each of the actors delivered with style, skill and subtlety to give us an
excellent evening's theatre. The discussion afterwards with yourselves and the
writer was also interesting, giving our audience a peek behind the curtain into
how a work such as this comes to fruition. Thanks again and hope to see you
back in Stroud soon.
Paul McLaughlin - General Manager, Subscription Rooms, Stroud.
I want to thank you for a wonderful play and performance. It was what
theatre should be, thoughtful, menacing, moving and dramatic....The actors were
brilliant and the music was utterly enhancing to the whole experience.
Karen Wood (Riverside Theatre Coleraine)
World Premier 9, 10,11 October 2014 Yvonne Arnaud Mill Studio Guildford
This show has since been performed at:
The Burton Taylor Studio , Oxford
The Subscription Rooms, Stroud
Heron Theatre, Cumbria
The Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
Kino Teatr, St Leonards On Sea
Burren International College of Art, Ballyvaughan
Riverside Theatre, Coleraine
Market Place Theatre, Armagh
'What can I say? Bloody brilliant! Extremely moving and great characterisation.'
'I so empathised with the play and it left me reflective and quiet. Congrats to you all and thanks for a thought provoking evening.'
'It was facinating.'
'I thought it worked very well and it was a powerful performance.'
'Excellent! Bravo Mora.'
'Congratulations! Bloody marvellous. It was wonderful.'
'Excellent and interesting play - a triumph.'
'Really enjoyed seeing it.'
'Fantastic show - powerful performances.'
'It was a fascinating piece of theatre to watch.'
'Believe me it had a lot to say, very multi-layered and moving....there was an integrity to the playing which is a naturalness as opposed to artifice.'
'Show was tremendous, I loved it - a wonderful experience.'
'The staging was magical.'
'Brilliant acting - riveting performance.'
'A lovely play, totally absorbing.'
'Very excellent play, destined for greatness.'