On Beckett
Ends Aug 04 1h 30m
On Beckett

On Beckett NYC Reviews and Tickets

(65 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Clever, Funny

About the Show

Irish Repertory Theatre presents Bill Irwin’s award-winning ON BECKETT.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (65)

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557 Reviews | 136 Followers
Masterful, Legendary performer, A delight

See it if you love the theater, you owe it to yourself not to miss this extraordinary evening of reflection on Beckett, acting, clowning & life itself

Don't see it if you don't like shows that require your concentration and patience, following short texts that are as mysterious and baffling as ever.

8 Reviews | 0 Followers
During previews
Master performer

See it if You want to see Bill Irwin at the height of his powers . . . and while you still can. He is 74 !

Don't see it if Beckett's indulgent prose puts you to sleep Read more

168 Reviews | 24 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Masterful

See it if you like good theater, Becket, Bill Irwin or just intelligent yet funny entertainment.

Don't see it if you really hate Becket. Only reason. Read more

259 Reviews | 117 Followers
Clown, theatre and audience heaven

See it if for an actor's sparkling analysis of Beckett's haunting speeches, silences, direction--and laughter of the best kind. Irwin rocks.

Don't see it if you dislike Beckett or slapstick or won't appreciate deep analysis of his forever-cutting-edge work from an actor's viewpoint. Read more

643 Reviews | 153 Followers
Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if Experience a true master class by a virtuoso of mime, clowning, acting & Beckett; you want to learn & be entertained; Irwin is mesmerizing.

Don't see it if Honestly, I don't know why you wouldn't want to see this unless you dislike Irwin and/or Beckett, good acting, clowning, learning and magic. Read more

404 Reviews | 145 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Masterful, Profound

See it if you want to spend 90 minutes completely engrossed in watching and listening to Bill Irwin perform and elucidate Beckett's works.

Don't see it if you need a big cast to provide a full presentation. Alone on stage (with just a little assist), Mr. Irwin is more than sufficient. Read more

347 Reviews | 53 Followers
Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny, Masterful, Profound

See it if You love Beckett. You never heard of Beckett. You love Bill Irwin. You never heard of Bill Irwin.

Don't see it if While this masterclass on the works of Samuel Beckett may not be for everyone. It should be. Read more

144 Reviews | 38 Followers
Absorbing, Intelligent, Refreshing, Bill irwin is a national treasure

See it if You are a fan of Bill Irwin. You want to see a unique take on Samuel Beckett.

Don't see it if You really dislike Beckett and don't have the patience to listen to his tricky texts. Read more

Critic Reviews (22)

The New York Times
October 3rd, 2018
For a previous production

“The show illuminates the notoriously opaque writings of Beckett without ever betraying their ineffable heart. In like manner, Irwin opens up his bag of performer’s tricks and even spills them out for our inspection...A replete bill of fare, filled with perceptive and appealingly humble observations on bringing Beckett’s language to life...The toil, according to Beckett, may be tedious and futile. But Mr. Irwin also gives us the pure, energizing joy in the playing of it."
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Time Out New York
October 3rd, 2018
For a previous production

"The impression is of an intimate but very careful love...This is Beckett-olatry, and his reverence sometimes keeps a lid on the emotion of the material...In this generous, sweet-spirited lecture, then, we can’t quite reach the mental space where Beckett’s mystery operates. Yet Irwin points to it and, with incredible craft, offers a tantalizing glimpse of performances yet to come. If he doesn’t quite give us Beckett’s cold darkness, at least he offers us the warmth of a votive flame.”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
October 3rd, 2018
For a previous production

“Utterly delightful...With candor and poignancy, Irwin pulls back the curtain on the process of performing Beckett’s ‘famously difficult’ texts. Infinitely expressive body, bowler hat, and baggy pants are his primary tools. With them, he cracks Beckett open and invites us to step inside...Irwin is like a magician revealing how the trick is done — and somehow rendering it all the more magical...A delicious piece of theater. Picture a top-notch TED Talk crossed with a clown show...Deeply funny.”
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October 3rd, 2018
For a previous production

"Irwin's masterful renditions, which he infuses with vaudevillian shtick and hilarious clowning, make Beckett's words bloom not just with humor but with poignant emotion...Beckett's unending inquiry into the awareness of one's whereness, with all the potentially terrifying existential questions that such an investigation can raise, has never seemed more approachable than in Irwin's thought-provoking one-man show...‘On Beckett’ is master class on and by a master. Shouldn't be missed.”
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Lighting & Sound America
October 17th, 2018
For a previous production

“’On Beckett’ has its graceful moments, but the trouble with Beckett is that you have to take him as you find him, or not at all. His works defy explanation and resist being taken out of context...Irwin comes across as a gushing fan. His enthusiasm is laudable, infectious, but it does little for one's appreciation of Beckett...Enjoyable more for its star than its subject, ‘On Beckett’ is probably the sweetest tribute...Whether that is a good thing or not is debatable, but Irwin remains a pleasure."
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Talkin' Broadway
October 4th, 2018
For a previous production

"Thoroughly enjoyable...At a tight 90-minutes it's just the right length, allowing audiences the time to immerse themselves in Beckett's existentialist musings without becoming mentally overloaded by his syntax and subtext...Irwin gives a master class in both performing and interpreting Beckett that young actors and lovers of literature won't want to miss."
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Talkin' Broadway
January 15th, 2017
For a previous production

"A fascinating lecture on Beckett...It was a pleasure to both listen to and watch this Tony-winning actor and veteran clown performer...This artist is somewhere between Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton with a little of Steve Martin thrown in for good measure...The consummate artist...does Pozzo's disturbing soliloquy from 'Waiting for Godot' with a rope around his neck. It's a moment to remember...I have a new appreciation of Samuel Beckett's words thanks to this skillful actor."
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New York Stage Review
October 3rd, 2018
For a previous production

“The multi-tasking Irish-American artist offers an homage to his visionary idol that is both deeply personal and defiantly, even exuberantly accessible...Irwin’s talents in the latter capacity contribute greatly to the energy and humor abundant in ‘On Beckett’...Irwin’s fluid, witty physicality and evocative facial expressions lend character and color to all his readings, not to mention a brief, hilarious dance segment.”
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