Precious Little: Brief Encounters with Beckett
Singapore’s lesser known theatre company World-In-Theatre’s latest theatre offering Precious Little: Brief Encounters with Beckett aims to explore smaller theatrical pieces of this Irish writer.
To director Shelly Quick, departing from Beckett’s more well-known works such as Waiting for Godot is interesting, exploring shorter and more austere works that challenge actors to minimalist acting. “It is like building houses with sticks. Once you have done that, you take the sticks out and see what’s left,” said Shelly Quick. And, indeed, Beckett pieces challenge one’s ability to cut down what’s not necessary, preserving the essence of theatre.
Pieces presented are Breath, Act Without Words 1 and 2 and Eh Joe. A piece with no characters that last 35 minutes (Breath) to another – Beckett’s only teleplay (Eh Joe) – where a man strains nightly to evoke the image of a woman with little success. The other two Act Without Words 1 and 2 are equally challenging. Act Without Words 1 is about a man’s encounter in a desert with “dazzling light” while Act Without Words 2 shows when man is driven by a compulsive force that will never let him withdraw for long into inaction.
On why World-In-Theatre and director Shelly Quick have chosen this for their annual production, she felt it was necessary for audiences to feel engaged to activities on stage. It is like an open dialogue with the performance on stage. Beckett’s theatre allows you to look at life and human existence with a fresh perspective, not to mention how we relate to each other. What’s important is the platform where audiences could contemplate about life, through the actors.
On the question on how the rehearsal process is carried out, given the pieces have challenging stage directions, Shelly Quick wants to adopt a more collaborative approach with the actors. She sees her role as someone who creates the condition for actors to bring something of their own into the space, although sometimes, in order to do that, she would impose restrictions.
Understandably it would be challenging for actors to engage with such fluid directorial style, but it would be interesting to see how they respond to a director who has a strong sense to visuals and sounds; where collection of sounds and music, thinking about fire and shadow, finding what the theatre environment is are important starting points.
Date and Time: May 6 to 9, 2009 at 7:30pm< /p>
Venue: The Arts House Play Den (1 Old Parliament Lane)
Ticketing Information: $25 full price (excluding $2 booking fee), $19 concessions (excluding $2 booking fee) for students, NSmen, senior citizens and $19 for groups of five or more.
Visit http://www.theartshouse.com.sg/tickets.html for more details.
School groups of 10 or more enjoy a rate of $15. For schools which have made group bookings, it may be possible to arrange for cast / director to speak to your students at your school at a mutually convenient date. For school bookings, please call Apsara Asia at 6298 0996.