New York | Previews start Sep 26

On Beckett

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About the show

Tony Award-winner, and MacArthur Fellow Bill Irwin explores his relationship with the work of Samuel Beckett in the New York premiere of his solo show presented by Irish Repertory Theatre. More…

Bill Irwin can’t escape Samuel Beckett. He has spent a lifetime captivated by the Irish writer’s language. In this intimate 90-minute evening, Irwin will explore both the comic and the tragic sides of Beckett’s work through excerpts of his texts including “Waiting for Godot,” “Endgame,” and “Texts for Nothing."

Scene 2

for a previous production "Irwin uses his clowning techniques to portray Beckett’s confused, ill-at-ease, physically uncomfortable, restless, never-at-home-in-this-or-any-other-realm everymen with humor, wisdom, and compassion...A wonderful evening of theatrical enlightenment. Irwin is smart and knowledgeable and conveys his experiences with enthusiasm and insight...He’s explaining why this material excites him, why it energizes him as an actor, and why it’s more important and relevant than ever." Full Review

The Mercury News

for a previous production "Part actor’s showcase, part scholarly lecture, this chatty work-in-progress is an intriguing tour through the Beckett canon. Irwin is clearly still refining the piece, which lacks definition, but it’s a pleasure to watch the funnyman at work...It’s quite touching to watch him share his lifelong affinity for a writer usually feared and revered in equal proportions...When the virtuoso comedian burrows down into the language of Beckett, however, the piece utterly transcends its limitations." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

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." Full Review

SF Chronicle

for a previous production "It’s a pleasure to watch Bill Irwin do anything, even just play around onstage sans much direction...His voice also astonishes. With each new phrase, he pivots to a new register, plumbing the depths and peaks of his range...Which is also the show’s central problem. Irwin makes bold choices, a great, great deal of them, but many of them lack a clear justification...'On Beckett' might be even stronger if Irwin made a stronger commitment to his own distinctive choices." Full Review

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