Samuel Beckett's 'The End' to be adapted by Gare St Lazare
Husband & wife team Conor Lovett and Judy Hegarty Lovett discuss adapting the absurdist short story
A nameless man, ejected from an anonymous institution, lost in a city. ‘The End’, a short story written by Samuel Beckett in 1954, is one of Gare St Lazare’s favourite pieces of the Irish absurdist’s work. They are well placed to have a preference; their Beckett Trilogy was a sensation at the Traverse Theatre last year and they have collaborated on around 15 Beckett-based shows.
Husband and wife team – actor Conor Lovett and director Judy Hegarty Lovett – deliver the text word for word. It was Judy who pushed to do the piece, drawn to ‘the shattered and elusive quality of the character; his wisdom and integrity despite the odds.’ Once persuaded, Connor discovered the ‘wonderfully mesmeric quality’ of the text.
For him, ‘The End’ is full of the light and shade that typifies Beckett. ‘If there is darkness there is also light. If there is gallows humour there is also plenty of slapstick. If there is sometimes pessimism there are moments of great uplift.’ He does not, he insists, deserve his gloomy reputation. ‘He very rarely deals with either hope or hopelessness. Luckily.’
Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Fri 17 & Sat 18 Feb.