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Lisa Dwan's Beckett trilogy transfers to W/E

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING her success at the Royal Court Theatre, Lisa Dwan is bringing her Beckett Trilogy to the West End’s Duchess Theatre.

The trilogy – Not I, Rockaby and Footfalls – returns to the Royal Court (January 9 to January 18, 2014), before playing a two-week run at the Duchess Theatre (February 3 to February 15).

Beckett’s Not I is an intense monologue, set in a pitch-black space lit by a single beam of light. A disembodied female mouth floats eight feet above the stage and delivers a stream of consciousness, spoken, as Beckett directed, at the speed of thought.

Lisa Dwan was tutored in the role by Billie Whitelaw, who originally performed the part at its 1973 UK premiere and was personally coached for the part by Beckett himself.

Rockaby is probably the most famous of Beckett’s last works. It explores loneliness and features a prematurely old woman dressed in an evening gown, sitting on a wooden rocking chair that appears to rock of its own accord. Rockaby was first performed in New York in 1980 starring Billie Whitelaw and then at the National Theatre in 1981.

Footfalls features May, wrapped in tatters, pacing back and forth like a metronome, on a strip of bare landing outside her dying mother’s room. Footfalls was first performed by Billie Whitelaw, for whom the piece had been written, at the Royal Court Theatre as part of the Samuel Beckett Festival in 1976, directed by Beckett himself.

Walter Asmus, Beckett’s long-time collaborator, directs.

All tickets for the West End run will be sold at Royal Court prices (£12 – £25).

The Royal Opera House’s production of The Wind in the Willows, with Tony Robinson as the show’s narrator, author Kenneth Grahame, continues at the Duchess Theatre until February 1, 2014.