**** Hilarious batch of Beckett parodies
If you know Beckett's work, you can pick out the precise bits being mercilessly lampooned; if you don't, it's still rib-tickling stuff.
Everybody knows Beckett was famed for being, well, not quite Mr Jolly, and for writing often short, oblique playlets that dramatised his existential despair. So when one of the six items in this show begins in complete blackout, punctuated after around thirty seconds by a voice groaning, "Dark!", it's no great surprise. What it is is spot-on parody.
Two serious men dressed in black give scholarly lecture notes on these allegedly rediscovered masterpieces, and one poor guy just referred to as "Ben, the actor" plays them out: he gets into a frock and a rocking-chair to listen to David Gates and Bread, has a Barbara Cartland novel recited to him by a brain in a glass jar, finds himself compulsively dancing and striking odd poses... all interrupted at various points by the arrival of a series of threatening communications supposedly from the late, great man's solicitors.
Beckett, like Leonard Cohen, is much funnier than most people believe, and this show manages both to lampoon and to confirm the humour of the originals.
Written for divento.com
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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