Follow Us on Twitter

Krapp's Last Tape - Rose Theatre Kingston

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING a hugely successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012 and a UK tour in 2013, Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape returns in 2014 to the Rose Theatre Kingston.

Starring Tom Owen (Last of the Summer Wine) and directed by Fiona Baddeley, this one-man show will be performed on one night only – Monday, January 13.

It is the 69 year-old Krapp’s birthday. He sits in his ‘den’ preparing for his yearly ritual of recording his reflections on a tape-recorder. First he listens to a tape of critical decisions he made on his 39th birthday. The 39 year-old Krapp has in turn listened to a tape he made when he was 27.

By this means, the audience comes to know fragments of Krapp’s life: the moving account of his mother’s death, a visionary moment of inspiration on a night of ‘howling wind’, his failed pursuit of intellectual fame through his writing, his decision to end a significant relationship and his attempts to come to terms with the consequences of those decisions.

Krapp’s Last Tape was originally performed at the Royal Court in 1958 by Irish actor Patrick Magee, whose sonorous voice was Beckett’s inspiration for the monologue. Director Fiona Baddeley said: “My inspiration for directing this monologue was that same quality in the voice of Tom Owen.”

Television history was made when, after his father’s death, Tom followed him into Last of the Summer Wine. Never before had a father’s real life son followed him into the same series playing his character’s fictional son.

NB: After the performance there will be a Q&A with Tom Owen, who will answer any questions about the play and his father, Bill Owen.

Tickets: £12, pit cushions £9 – available from the box office on 08444 821556 or online at

Time: 7.30pm.

Also at the Rose Theatre Kingston: Noël Coward’s divine comedy classic Fallen Angels, starring Jenny Seagrove and Sara Crowe; and Brian Friel’s Translations.