27 January 2020

Beckett Triple Bill at Jermyn Street Theatre was delightfully strange

January 27 is my birthday so, even more than usual, I got to decide what we saw that night and I chose Beckett Triple Bill at Jermyn Street Theatre partially because it was Beckett and partially because it was on at Jermyn Street Theatre.

And being my birthday meant that I could justify eating at Getti which is directly above the theatre. Getti is a posh enough restaurant without being ridiculously expensive, which is could be given the neighbourhood. The bill was under £70 for two courses and an extravagant aperitif each.

Completing the financials, my theatre seat Row A  Seat 3 was just £25.

The view from my seat was almost exactly that in the poster, without the stars.

The evening consisted of three short plays, Krapp’s Last Tape, Eh Joe and The Old Tune. These were plays with few voices, only four across the three pieces.

In Krapp's Last Tape an old man is making a recording of his past year and in preparation for this he plays some of his former ones which, in turn, refer to earlier tapes. It was one voice but from different times.

"Eh Joe" was said several times by a female voice speaking inside another old man's head. She recalled some of his previous actions, including her murder. Whether it was a true story or not did not matter, what did was the sneering tone and the phrasing.

Finally, in The Old Tune, two more old men met for the first time in several years and began a strange conversation on shared banalities with each correcting the other on the details.

It is easy to jump to Waiting For Godot when thinking about Beckett and this case the jump is justified as all three plays carried that same sense of absurd whimsy; conversations of no import that go nowhere and do so delightfully.

Beckett Triple Bill was a great birthday present to buy for myself.

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