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The Anatomy of Melancholy at two London venues

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE Anatomy of Melancholy, a new opera with libretto by Finn Beames and music by Benjamin Tassie, will be performed at two London venues – at the Happy Soul Festival, Richmond on October 14 and at TestBed1, Battersea from October 22 to October 25, 2014.

This original opera, inspired by Robert Burton’s 1621 medical text book and performed by eight musicians, six singers and an actor, will take an intimate look at historical and modern-day experiences of depression through song, speech and mobile live-feed video screens.

Through the exploration of a young man’s experience of depression and his family’s responses, the production compares Renaissance theory with contemporary research, using projected images of the performers’ bodies to express experiences of depression and draw attention to the links between mental and physical health and showing that there are many creative ways to engage with mental health issues.

The Anatomy of Melancholy is an epic text admired throughout literary history that attempts to give an exhaustive dissection of ‘melancholy’ in a search for knowledge of its symptoms, causes and cures. By addressing the relationship between physicality and wellbeing, theatre company bodycorps aims to encourage the audience to be more honest and open in their discussions of mental health.

The show is performed in a space not conventionally associated with opera to create new possibilities for the art form and perhaps make it more accessible and relatable to broader audiences.

The work has been written in collaboration with molecular psychiatrist Professor Jonathan Flint, Head of the Psychiatric Genetics Group at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, and accordingly includes cutting edge research on genetics and depression.

Director and librettist Finn Beames is the second recipient of a Genesis Future Directors Award in 2014 at the Young Vic and accordingly will direct a production at the theatre (details to be announced later this year). His notable collaborations include the new opera Terrible Lips co-written with Kate Whitley for bodycorps, and a new music theatre work for the London Sinfonietta, Uncle Dima, in collaboration with Gavin Higgins. Beames is a participant on the Aldeburgh Jerwood Opera Writing Programme 2014-15 as a librettist.

Beames said: “A psychiatrist once suggested that bodycorps should make an opera about misery, which prompted me to revisit Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy, a book I’d read as a student. Feeling a straight-up adaptation was inoperable, I decided to amputate what I wanted and add it to my own and other people’s ideas about melancholy and depression.

“The more time I spend with my brain, the more strongly I feel that we have to find new ways to discuss and maintain mental health. Opera speaks (and sings) to the sometimes overwhelming nature of unhappiness, but I hope this show also points its audience to the more hidden, and often overlooked, corners of depression.”

Composer Benjamin Tassie has been performed by a number of leading ensembles, including the Britten Sinfonia, Rarescale, the Composers’ Ensemble, Lontano, the Cavaleri Quartet, the Lunar Saxophone Quartet, and the Ossian Ensemble. He has worked with Rambert Dance on a number of projects, created a surround-sound music installation for the De La Warr Pavilion, and has had his music programmed by NonClassical. He has written for a number of short films, and has worked as sound-designer on digital and theatrical projects.

The show will be conducted by Tim Murray, who recently conducted the Britten Sinfonia in the critically acclaimed The Importance of Being Earnerst at the Royal Opera House. His other credits include Twice through the Heart (Sadler’s Wells), The Crackle, The Doctor’s Tale, The Enchanted Pig and The Gentle Giant (Royal Opera), The Sleeper (Welsh National Youth Opera), Hogarth’s Stages (Royal College of Music), Babur in London (The Opera Group), Fantastic Mr Fox (Opera Holland Park) and The Silent Twins (Almeida Opera).

Happy Soul is an independent Charity that uses the arts in an innovative way to destigmatise mental health and promote wellbeing. In celebration of ‘World Mental Health Day/Week’ they will be running an arts festival for black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in South London from October 10 – 16. bodycorps will perform a semi-staged version of the opera as part of the festival with a post- show Q&A.

The cast of The Anatomy of Melancholy includes Mark Beesley as Father, with Raphaela Papadakis (Blood), Donna Lennard (Yellow), Anna Harvey (Black) and Dario Dugandzic (Phlegm) as The Four Humours.

The Anatomy of Melancholy is suitable for ages 12+.

Running Time: 75 minutes.

Tickets for Testbed1, 33 Parkgate Road, Battersea, SW11 4NP: £12.50 – available on 020 7223 7115 or online at www.testbed1.com/.

Time: 8pm.

Admission for Holy Trinity Church Hall, Sheen Road, Richmond, TW9 1UP: Free.

Time: 8pm.

Casting announced for Tooting pie shop's Sweeney Todd

Casting news

CASTING has been announced for Tooting Arts Club’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which is being staged in London’s oldest pie and mash shop – Harrington’s in Tooting – from October 21 to November 29, 2014.

Playing Mrs Lovett will be Siobhan McCarthy, with Jeremy Secomb in the title role.

Known for her role of Roisin Connor in ITV’s Bad Girls, Siobhan McCarthy was Olivier nominated as the original Donna in Mamma Mia!. Her other theatre credits include Sveltana in Chess and the Mistress in Evita, both as part of the original London casts, and more recently as Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

Jeremy Secomb’s West End credits include The Phantom of the Opera, Lend Me A Tenor The Musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Evita and The Woman in White.

David Freedman will be taking on the role of Judge Turpin, a role he has previously played at the Bloomsbury Theatre, with Ian Mowat (South Pacific, Prince of Wales Theatre) as his faithful Beadle.

The cast also includes Kiara Jay (Sister Act, London Palladium Theatre) as Pirelli/Beggar Woman; Nadim Naaman (The Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty’s Theatre) as Anthony; Grace Chapman (Kerry Ellis Live at the Palladium) as Johanna; and Joseph Taylor (Scott Mills in Scott Mills: The Musical, Edinburgh Fringe Festival) as Tobias.

Read more about Sweeney Todd.

Thriller Live extends to September 2015

Thriller Live

THRILLER Live, now in its record-breaking sixth year in the West End, has once again extended its booking period at the Lyric Theatre, this time until September 6, 2015.

Producers Paul Walden and Derek Nicol said in a statement: “We are thrilled that Thriller Live continues to be one of the longest running shows in the West End and its celebration of the music and iconic choreography of one of the world’s greatest ever artists is continuing to attract new generations of theatregoers from around the world.

“We are looking forward to theming the theatre’s bars for a ghoulish week celebrating all things Halloween and the show’s iconic title track, Thriller, and we are delighted that lead singer Cleo Higgins has been nominated Best West End Debut in the West End Frame awards.”

Thriller Live continues to set and break records and new territories around the globe, where it has now performed to standing ovations in 28 countries from South Korea and Norway to Poland, South America and China. The latest world tour will take in Australia and New Zealand for the first time.

Thriller Live will first tour the UK, playing Eden Court Theatre, Inverness (October 20 – 25), Festival Theatre, Edinburgh (October 27 – November 1), Alhambra Theatre, Bradford (November 3 – 8) and Grand Theatre, Wolvehampton (November 11 – 15).

The cast then move to Australia where the production will premiere in Perth before playing Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, followed by two weeks in New Zealand, with more dates to be added.

Read more about Thriller Live and Cleo Higgins.

Private View - Courtyard Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

Devised and performed by Plunge Theatre, Private View runs at Hoxton’s Courtyard Theatre from September 23 to September 27, 2014.

Private View uses dance, verbatim text and vast amounts of chocolate cake to look at the ideals forced on today’s young women. It is part love song, part hate mail, and constantly questioning.

How can perfection be achieved? And at what cost?

In this dark and comic quest to re-discover our true selves beneath the surmounting pile of wax strips, celery and self-doubt, audiences will be plunged into the loud, rude and self-deprecating world of three differently shaped women: each struggling to navigate the perplexing landscape of Spanx, chicken fillets and selfies.

Having met at Sussex University and unified by a keen sense of the ridiculous, Plunge Theatre make work that is original, funny and empathetic – at once inward looking and outwardly reflecting.

Tickets: £12, £10 concession – available on +44(0)844 477 1000 or online at www.thecourtyard.org.uk/.

Time: 8pm.

The Almeida's King Charles III extends W/E run

Almeida Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

KING Charles III, Mike Bartlett’s controversial new play, has extended its run at Wyndham’s Theatre by nine weeks and is now booking until January 31, 2015.

Tim Pigott-Smith will continue in the role of Charles, but as yet no information has been given about other cast members.

Previously Posted: This autumn, King Charles III, Mike Bartlett’s controversial new play, will transfer to Wyndham’s Theatre where it will run from September 11 (previews from September 2) to November 29, 2014.

It is the fourth production to transfer from the Almeida within the last year, following Chimerica, Ghosts and 1984, which has recently extended its run at the Playhouse Theatre until August 23, 2014.

Previously Posted: Casting has been announced for King Charles III, Mike Bartlett’s controversial new play which runs at the Almeida Theatre from April 10 (previews from April 3) to May 31, 2014.

The line up includes Oliver Chris, Adam James, Tim Pigott-Smith and Lydia Wilson.

They are joined by Katie Brayben (American Psycho), Richard Goulding (King Lear, A Mad World My Masters), Nyasha Hatendi (‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore), Margot Leicester (The Knot of the Heart), Tom Robertson (Othello, Timon of Athens), Nicholas Rowe (Donkey’s Years, See How They Run), Nick Sampson and Tafline Steen (The Possibilities).

The play imagines the succession of Prince Charles following the death of The Queen, exploring the people beneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of our democracy, and the conscience of Britain’s most famous family.

Oliver Chris’ theatre credits include One Man, Two Guvnors and Season’s Greetings (National Theatre), Women, Power and Politics (Tricycle Theatre) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Rose Theatre, Kingston), Rain Man (Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield) and Portrait of a Lady (Theatre Royal, Bath).

Adam James’ theatre work includes Rapture, Blister, Burn and Tiger Country (Hampstead Theatre), 13, Blood and Gifts and Gethsemane (National Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (West End), Now Or Later (Royal Court), French Without Tears (English Touring Theatre), Rabbit (Old Red Lion/Trafalgar Studios), Tamburlaine The Great (RSC) and Coriolanus (National Youth Theatre).

Tim Pigott-Smith has previously appeared at the Almeida in A Delicate Balance and The Iceman Cometh. His numerous credits elsewhere include Educating Rita (Trafalgar Studios), Enron (Chichester Festival Theatre/ Royal Court/West End), Pygmalion (Theatre Royal, Bath/Old Vic), See How They Run and Benefactors (West End), Hecuba (Donmar Warehouse), Mourning Becomes Electra, Mary Stuart The Tempest Cymbeline, A Winter’s Tale, Entertaining Strangers and Coming In To Land (National Theatre), The Iceman Cometh (Old Vic/Broadway) and Antony and Cleopatra, Cymbeline, Sherlock Holmes and Titus Andronicus (RSC).

Lydia Wilson has previously appeared on stage in Hysteria (Hampstead Theatre), ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore (Cheek by Jowl/Barbican/World Tour), Acid Test and The Heretic (Royal Court), Blasted (Lyric Hammersmith), Pains of Youth (National Theatre) and The House of Special Purpose (Chichester Festival Theatre).

King Charles III is directed by the Almeida’s Artistic Director Rupert Goold and is designed by Tom Scutt, with music by Jocelyn Pook, lighting by Jon Clark and sound by Paul Arditti.

Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan’s critically acclaimed adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, 1984, continues at the Almeida until March 29, 2014.

Blind - New Diorama Theatre and on tour

Blind

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

Devised and directed by The Paper Birds and performed by Grace Savage, UK Beatboxing Champion and star of the National Theatre’s Home, Blind will visit the New Diorama Theatre (October 19 and 20, 2014) as part of a UK tour.

An interrogation into the influences on young women today, Grace Savage acts as a mouthpiece for her generation, exploring the songs, sounds and statements our world is making and the impressions these gradually form on our lives.

Powered by one woman’s voice, Blind considers the things young women overhear, that they are told by their mothers, or learn in the school playground or from the pop charts and asks how this background (and foreground) noise affects the people we become.

Grace Savage said: “As a beatboxer and an actress, Blind is one of the most refreshing, unique and exciting projects that I have had the privilege to work on in my career so far. There are a few beatboxing shows floating around but I think we have created something truly unique and theatrical in a way that has never been seen before.

“I have admired The Paper Birds’ work for years and working with them has allowed me to integrate beatboxing with narrative in a way that feels meaningful and impactful. Not just the fun party trick or gimmick it can often become. Blind is about challenging perceptions, exploring identity and just opening our eyes that little bit more….coloured with some serious bass from my face along the way.”

Grace Savage is the UK’s official female Beatbox Champion (2012 and 2013) and recently played ‘Jade’ in a revival of Home at The National Theatre, following a sell-out run in August 2013. She has worked within such prestigious companies as The Vocal Orchestra (Headline act at E4 Udderbelly tent, Bristol Old Vic, QEH Southbank Centre), Lyrix Organix (Mayor of London Showtime festival tour and Glastonbury 2013) and The Demon Barbers tour of Lock In (Best Live Act Radio 2 Folk Awards 2009).

Savage is also working on her solo album with producer Dee Adam (Newton Faulkner/Andreya Triana/Loick Essien) having recently supported Newton Faulkner on his UK tour which included two nights at Shepherds Bush Empire, London.

The Paper Birds Artistic Director Jemma McDonnell said: “We know that young people are bombarded with images in the media of how they should look, what they should wear, the body shape they should aspire to have, but we became more interested, not in what young people are seeing in the world, but what they are hearing. Alongside this, we wanted to take beatboxing to a new level, as in the show it represents Grace’s identity; it is her voice, and she wants to speak.”

The tour follows Blind‘s sell out run at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe.

Produced by Bonnie Mitchell, Blind has sound design by Darren Perry, lighting design by Kylie Walsh and set and costume design by Fiammetta Horvat.

Blind is suitable for ages 15+.

Tickets: £12, £10 concessions – available from the box office on 020 7383 9034 or online at www.newdiorama.com/.

Time: 7.30pm.

Running Time: 1 hour.

Also at the New Diorama: the UK premiere of Philipp Löhle’s dark comedy, Das Ding (October 14 to November 1, 2014).

The tour kicks off at Mylor Theatre, Truro College (October 6) before continuing to Norwich, Petersfield, Oxford, Canterbury, New Diorama Theatre, London (October 19 – 20), St. Helier, Jersey, Hull, Bradford, Sunderland, Newcastle, Luton, Ilfracombe, Exeter, Havant, Canada Water Culture Space, London (November 7), Birmingham, Doncaster, Salford and Leeds.

The Tempest - Waterloo East Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WILLIAM Shakespeare’s The Tempest, adapted and directed by Sarah Redmond, runs at Waterloo East Theatre from October 8 to October 26, 2014.

Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground.

Set to a pumping soundtrack this new abridged version takes audiences to London 2080, when natural disasters have swamped the world and countries as we know them are lost to sea. A boat has been swept up the Thames Estuary and is shipwrecked on the Southbank. The survivors look to the locals for sanctuary.

The cast includes Sy Thomas (comedian/presenter Nickelodeon, CITV’s Cool Stuff Collective) and Tom Keller (Cilla, ITV; Dr Who, The Borgias, EastEnders, Wire in The Blood and Ladybird Ladybird, BBC).

They are joined by Rebecca Hazel, Matthew Harper, Chipo Kureya, Andrea Bergamimi, Guy Woolf, Lucy Harwood, Alex Morgan, Jamie Brotherston, Daniel Everitt-Lock, Drew Michael Gardner, Anna Britton and Lucy Thomas.

Tickets: £15, £13 concessions (students, unwaged, over 60’s, equity, disabled, Lambeth resident). No booking fees (all seating is unreserved). October 8 and 9: all tickets £12. To book, call the box office on 0207 928 0060 or visit www.waterlooeast.co.uk/.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Sunday at 4pm.

Running Time: Approximately 120 minutes (with an interval).

Lady Windermere's Fan transfers to the Tabard Theatre

Lady Windermeres Fan

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING a critically acclaimed run at the King’s Head Theatre, Ruby in the Dust’s production of the Oscar Wilde classic, Lady Windermere’s Fan, updated to the 1930s, transfers to the Tabard Theatre where it runs from September 23 to October 11, 2014.

Young, rich, beautiful and happily married, Lady Windermere has it all – until her husband invites a mysterious widow to her 21st birthday ball. Who is she? Why is she there? What is their secret? Suddenly everything that Lady Windermere holds dear is in jeopardy.

Nothing is as it seems in this satirical thriller, full of intrigue, jealousy and Oscar Wilde’s famous, inimitable one-liners.

Lady Windermere’s Fan was first published in the 1890s and was Wilde’s first big hit, catapulting him to success when it premiered in London in 1892.

Like many of Wilde’s comedies it bitingly mocks society’s morals and continues to be relevant in whatever decade it is presented. It differs from his other ‘comedies’ in that it exemplifies Wilde’s most successful dramatic technique: the mixing of the comic and the serious, which makes it an inherently more interesting piece than his later, more popular plays.

Ruby in the Dust’s production, directed by Linnie Reedman, is set against the backdrop of the popular songs of the1930s.

Formed in 2006 by Young Vic genesis director Linnie Reedman and acclaimed composer/musical director Joe Evans, Ruby In The Dust’s previous productions include the critically praised The Great Gatsby Musical and Hutch (Riverside Studios), Miracle starring Susannah York and Tim Woodward (St Andrew Church Crypt/Leicester Square Theatre), Bonnie and Clyde (King’s Head Theatre) and, most recently, Dorian Gray (Riverside Studios).

Tickets: £16, £14 concessions – available from the box office on 020 8995 6035 or online at www.tabardweb.co.uk/.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday matinees at 4pm.

Warehouse of Dreams supports War Child at the Lion and Unicorn

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

RANDOM Thoughts Limited is presenting the world premiere of Warehouse of Dreams at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre. Written by Chuck Anderson and directed by Dan Phillips, it runs from Tuesday, November 11 to Saturday, December 6, 2014.

Warehouse of Dreams explores the difficult moral decisions that aid workers who manage refugee camps have to make.

This new play, inspired by today’s shocking headlines about the tragedies unfolding in the Middle East, will help children whose lives have been uprooted by war – every ticket sold includes a £2 donation to support the humanitarian work of War Child.

This small, dynamic charity, also based in Kentish Town, provides first of all protection, and then vital care and counselling to children traumatised by war. It helps them reclaim their lost childhood and gives them the educational opportunities they need to exercise their right to a sustainable future.

Additionally, a four-week campaign has been launched on www.crowdfunder.co.uk/angel to attract extra funding for the production. Twenty percent of the sum raised will be donated to War Child.

Writer-producer Chuck Anderson said: “There are rewards for donors, too. Free tickets to the show and a copy of the theatre programme book with the complete text of the play. You can follow the progress of the production on an internet Video Diary. You can even be invited to the Press Party to meet the cast and crew.”

Tickets: £19 (adults), £15 (concessions). To book, call the box office on 08444 77 1000 or visit www.ticketweb.co.uk/.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Saturday matinees at 3.30pm.

Also at the Lion and Unicorn: Jekyll and Hyde, written by Adam Dechanel and based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson (September 30 to October 25, 2014).

Read about Simon James Collier, the Lion and Unicorn’s new artistic director.

International Beckett Season at the Barbican

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IN SUMMER 2015, the Barbican is hosting an International Beckett Season. Dedicated to the work of the great Irish author Samuel Beckett, nine pieces will be performed by six outstanding international companies and artists in four different locations over a three week period.

Lisa Dwan – Not I/Footfalls/Rockaby

Lisa Dwan is mesmerising in this solo performance of the late Samuel Beckett works.

Not I: Floating above the stage in a near pitch-black void, a disembodied mouth spews a stream of consciousness at speed, capturing the despair of an outcast caught in a speechless existence.

Footfalls: Pacing back and forth like a metronome outside her dying mother’s room, May is trapped in a moment of time, tormented by a ‘shudder of her mind’.

Rockaby: Dressed in an evening gown, a prematurely aged woman sits in a chair that appears to rock of its own accord. Recounting moments from her past, she slowly withdraws from the world.

Directed by Beckett’s long-time collaborator, Walter Asmus, the trilogy transports audiences to a strangely beautiful, unsettling space where death and decay are never far away. Dwan makes the triple bill her own, in a virtuosic performance that is both chilling and absorbing.

Sydney Theatre Company – Waiting for Godot

Australian screen and stage stars Richard Roxburgh and Hugo Weaving give standout performances in Sydney Theatre Company’s remarkable production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, the absurdist masterpiece about everything and nothing.

The quintessential comedy duo, Estragon and Vladimir, pass the time joking, bickering and musing on the profound as they wait patiently for Godot, interrupted only by brutish Pozzo and his hapless servant Lucky. Surrounded by a handsomely bleak set, suggestive of a charred, crumbling theatre, Weaving and Roxburgh draw out the vaudevillian energy, wild humour and poetry of Beckett’s writing.

Sydney Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, Andrew Upton, works with an all-Australian cast including three-time Olivier Award-winner Philip Quast and Luke Mullins, recipient of both the Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Awards for his portrayal of Lucky. Richard Roxburgh also recently received the Helpmann Award for Best Actor for his performance in the production.

Olwen Fouéré – Lessness

Leading Irish theatre artist Olwen Fouéré performs a reading of Samuel Beckett’s evocative short prose, simply staged in an intimate setting. One of the 20th century’s most enigmatic texts, Lessness was published in the same year Beckett won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Comprising 60 sentences that he placed in a container and randomly selected, once and then again, to determine their order, the piece is unpredictable yet surprisingly engaging.

Fouéré, a magnetic performer whose arresting physical presence is matched by her phenomenal vocal technique, has presented and appeared in Beckett’s works since 1976, including as part of the playwright’s centenary festival at the Barbican in 2006. Her most recent creation, riverrun, an adaptation of the voice of the river from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, has been touring internationally and was a hit at the National Theatre in 2014.

Pan Pan Theatre – All That Fall

Pan Pan Theatre presents All That Fall, Samuel Beckett’s first radio play, as a communal auditory event. Seated in rocking chairs, audiences listen to an intricate composition of voices.

Unsightly, ungainly and unwell, Maddy Rooney trudges laboriously from her home to Boghill Station, conversing with a richly conjured cast of characters along the way. She’s meeting her blind husband Dan off the train, but there’s been a delay. Weaving words and sounds to musical effect, recorded text comes out of the dark to reveal a bleakly comic account of one couple’s unending misery.

All That Fall, which won two Irish Times Theatre Awards (Best Sound and Best Lighting Design), features outstanding vocal performances from Andrew Bennett and Áine Ní Mhuirí.

Company SJ – Rough for Theatre I and Act Without Words II

Performed in the unique exterior environment of the Barbican, this is Beckett inspired by the people and city of Dublin, re-inserted into the architectural spaces of the City of London.

Rough for Theatre I: Two vagrants, one blind, the other wheelchair bound, are locked in an uneasy encounter. For a brief moment, there is talk of joining up but hope slips away with a single gesture.

Act Without Words II: Goaded into action by an unseen force, A and B emerge in turn from sleeping bags to begin contrasting routines. Although they never meet, they are somehow connected.

Directed by Sarah Jane Scaife, who has been staging Beckett’s work for nearly 30 years in many different countries, these companion pieces have been presented to great acclaim in Dublin and Tokyo and respond to each location in a unique way. The all-Irish cast – Bryan Burroughs, Raymond Keane and Trevor Knight – are at the forefront of physical theatre.

Robert Wilson – Krapp’s Last Tape

Visionary director and visual artist Robert Wilson brings Samuel Beckett’s haunting one-man play to the stage in a sharply stylised show.

Amid the cacophony of a torrential thunderstorm, an old man prepares to archive his last year on tape, as he has done on the eve of every birthday since his youth. Selecting an earlier recording, Krapp listens to his brashly confident younger self and is drawn into a chilling personal dialogue, his despair and isolation laid bare.

During a tour de force performance as Beckett’s world-weary figure, Wilson recalls the movement of silent movie greats such as Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Audiences have been enraptured with every nuanced expression and gesture, set against a ghostly backdrop of shadow and light.

Throughout his extraordinary theatre career, Wilson has always felt a kinship with Beckett’s work. For this revelatory realisation of Krapp’s Last Tape, he calls on the acting, directing and designing techniques he has developed over the past 45 years.