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FMU Theatre presents double-header of Beckett plays

FLORENCE – The Francis Marion University Theatre presents playwright Samuel Beckett’s one act plays, Endgame and Krapp's Last Tape Thursday-Saturday, April 16-18, in the Fine Arts Theatre in the Hyman Fine Arts Center on the FMU campus. 

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and admission is free, but reservations are required. 

Beckett's work is considered the visual representation of the absurdist philosophy: A philosophy, often translated into art forms, holding that humans exist in a meaningless, irrational universe and that any search for order by them will bring them into direct conflict with this universe.

As the play, Endgame, opens, Hamm, the lead character, is dying in a world that seems to be coming to an end. Hamm takes satisfaction in knowing that all of existence may fade to nothing. Hamm is confined to a chair, and throughout the play he discards, reluctantly, the continuing prospects of life: food; painkillers; his servant Clov, on whom he is totally dependent; the pole that enables him to move his wheelchair; and holding the dog, on which he lavishes his affection. 

Hamm’s parents, Nagg and Nell, having lost their legs many years ago in a bicycle accident, live in ashbins from which they occasionally emerge only to be cursed by their son. His mother dies and Hamm, knowing that Clov is leaving him, prepares for his last battle, first to outlive his father and then to face inevitable death without the help of the few objects that have given him comfort in his final days. Hamm soliloquizes in terms of the last moves in chess, a king evading checkmate as long as possible with stern asides on religion, ‘‘Get out of here and love one another! Lick your neighbor as yourself!’’

The Off Broadway sensation, Krapp's Last Tape, is a tour de force for one man and is the most affectionate portrait of a character that Beckett has ever done: an aging man who lives a lonely and shabby existence in a darkened room. At year's end he takes out a bottle of wine, a banana and his tape recorder, and he listens as his own voice from the past recounts the glories and hopes of his youth.

This play is considered to be Beckett's most autobiographical work.

Krapp’s Last Tape premiered in 1958 as a curtain raiser to a production of Endgame at the Royal Court Theatre in London. 

Tickets for the event can be obtained free through the FMU box office at (843) 661-1365. 

#155 /4-13-09

Last Published: May 5, 2009 11:43 AM
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