BWW REVIEW: Jonathan Biggins Delivers A Delightful Masterclass In Dramatic Physicality In KRAPP'S LAST TAPE
Thursday 28th November 2019, 7:30pm, Old Fitz Theatre
Theatre heavyweight Jonathan Biggins takes on Samuel Beckett's weighty short work KRAPP'S LAST TAPE in a wonderful performance for Red Line Productions. Multi award winning main stage theatre veterans Gale Edwards (Director) and Brian Thomson AM (Design) are joined by a wonderful creative team to deliver an intriguing expression of the unusual one man show.
At first, KRAPP'S LAST TAPE feels like it could be a silent study of a hoarder in a dim filing cupboard lined office and Biggins' performance is quite possibly mesmerizing enough for this to be good but beyond Krapp's procrastinating and potassium loading is an captivating glimpse into a man who has laid down his life on audio tape via an old reel-to-reel recorder. In warn out shabby clothes (Olivia Rowlands: Costume Design) the 69 year old 'celebrates' his birthday with revisiting his past memoirs and setting down an account of his 69th year.Biggins physicality is fabulous as the tall man slouches and shuffles around the room that bears the detritus of destroyed reels, disposed of papers and carelessly cast banana peel. His facial expressions however are even more brilliant as Biggins gives Krapp a judgmental, disgusted and disappointed expression that reflects the failing writer's view of both his current situation and his reflection on the tape from his 39 year old self. While the work is a solo work, with Biggins' own voice on the tape, the tape and tape player are like a separate character and it is noted that its soundtrack is managed with precision as Krapp stops and starts the machine.
An intriguing work that has the audience considering the whether the title is referencing the last tape just being the latest to be laid down or if it will really be the last Krapp will ever record, either giving up on the process as he becomes disenchanted with his career of writing or he won't make it to his 70'th. Well worth seeing what happens when main stage creatives and performers join forces with the independent theatre world and proving that regardless of budget, they can create a fabulous theatre experience.
Photos: John Marmaras