'An Unforgettable Image': Staging Beckett's Short Plays

Tubridy, Derval. 2016. 'An Unforgettable Image': Staging Beckett's Short Plays. In: David Tucker and Trish McTighe, eds. Staging Beckett in Great Britain. London: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, pp. 135-155. ISBN 9781474240178 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Through an analysis of the staging histories of three productions: Katie Mitchell’s Beckett Shorts (1997) for the RSC which comprised Not I, Footfalls, Rockaby, That Time, A Piece of Monologue and Embers: Deborah Warner's controversial Footfalls for the Garrick (1994), and Lisa Dwan’s trilogy of Beckett’s short plays Not I, Footfalls, and Rockaby for the Royal Court in 2014, the chapter examines how directors and actors have interpreted and engaged with Beckett’s texts, raising key questions of interpretation and translation as they operate within the theatre. The chapter argues that the tension between the opposing needs for fidelity to the text and to authorial intention on the one hand, and the need to reconfigure the play for contemporary times on the other, are vital in order to understand the enduring vibrancy and relevance of Beckett’s short plays.

Item Type:

Book Section


contemporary theatre, performance, directors,Samuel Beckett, Fiona Shaw, Katie Mitchell, Lisa Dwan, Walter Asmus, Deborah Warner

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature
Visual Cultures


30 June 2016Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

28 Nov 2017 14:55

Last Modified:

11 Mar 2021 17:48



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