Sunday, 24 October 2010

Krapp's Last Tape

Saw Krapp's Last Tape last night. Not impressed, honestly, as I didn't understand the point of having such a play. Of course it's Samuel Beckett and - what else do you expect? Well, I didn't expect much, as I know it's performed by one old man throughout (Gambon actually, not some awful old man, but his character's awful).

Me being the illiterate I am in some literatures of course have never really read Beckett. All I knew was Waiting for Godot and that's it. My date of course has never heard of any Beckett - I'm not surprised and I don't blame him! To us, the failure of the play is in the play itself rather than the performance - I think it must be pretty faithful to the original work. Basically the whole play's just about an old man who records a tape on his birthdays, and every time he looks back at his past year and also his past life - by listening to tapes he's recorded before - and every time he does so he scorns the past self. The most important line in the play, which I think summarises the whole play (and therefore - the pointlessness of it all), is probably one of the last towards the end, which is from a tape he recorded when he was in his 30's or 40's:
Perhaps my best years are gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldn't want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldn't want them back...

And of course he does want them back. Very badly, which explains why he's so angry all the time, as his life is clearly a failure, and he's just this lonesome old man cursing at no one for no reason. My point is that there's nothing interesting in this story at all, and the presentation is not in any way brilliant. I read some reviews which claim that this particular performance is 'impeccably paced' (which I strongly disagree, though it's just a 50-minute play), and 'delivered with humour and passion' - perhaps the part with the 1 banana which gets eaten and 1 that Krapp puts to his manhood to play with? Seriously, that's not what I call humour, but I don't blame the director or the actor, for the play itself is - krapp.

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