Gare St Lazare Ireland Present The World Premiere Of HOW IT IS By Samuel Beckett

How It Is will run as part of Dublin Theatre Festival and is a co-production with The Everyman, The Coronet Theatre London in association with The Abbey Theatre.

By: Sep. 20, 2021
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The Samuel Beckett specialists, Gare St Lazare Ireland have staged Beckett's 1964 novel How It Is over six years. Last month, they reimagined the entire novel for film and they will stream it as part of Dublin Theatre Festival 2021 (Oct 1- 7 2021).

Directed and designed by Judy Hegarty Lovett, and performed by actors Conor Lovett and Stephen Dillane, the production includes an original score designed and performed by Mel Mercier, Irish Gamelan Orchestra, MÓNCKK and guest musicians Nick Roth, Claudia Schwab and tenor Mark Padmore.

How It Is, Beckett's eighth and final full-length novel, is perhaps the most inventive work he produced. Director Judy Hegarty Lovett, awarded a PhD from University of Reading for her research in staging Beckett's prose, says, "The novel is over sixty years old and still seems way ahead of its time."

Beckett is one of Ireland's six Nobel literature laureates and along with James Joyce is known worldwide. Actor Conor Lovett says, "Today we speak a lot about storytelling and how everything has a 'story'. We are driven by narratives. Beckett has really experimented in this work by essentializing both the form and content. I feel he may be inviting us to look for another way to think about language and storytelling."

When staging the novel as part of a three-year Artistic Residency at The Everyman, Judy introduced a three-dimensional possibility using sound, space, and an interactive engagement with the theatre space and its audience. She invited sound designer/composer Mercier to join the process in 2015. Mel Mercier's original soundscape created a compelling match for an inventive lighting design by New York designer Kris Stone winning Irish Times Theatre Awards for both in 2018. The same year saw the company nominated for Best Production and for Best Actor, Stephen Dillane. In How It Is (Part 2) Hegarty Lovett again invited Mel Mercier to bring on his longtime collaborators, Irish Gamelan Orchestra, to the staging. Mercier and the IGO were nominated for best Soundscape and Hegarty Lovett for Best Director at the subsequent Irish Times Theatre Awards 2020.

Actors Conor Lovett and Stephen Dillane, deliver the entire novel for an audience for the very first time in a filmed durational event of over 5 hours.

Delivering this text can feel at times like playing a musical score, something Conor Lovett noticed about Beckett's work early in his thirty-year career. "There is so much in the sound of the words and the rhythms created by the lack of punctuation. This may be a way for audiences to approach it too."

The original score by Mel Mercier is very much a response to listening to the actors speak the text.

How It Is will run as part of Dublin Theatre Festival and is a co-production with The Everyman, The Coronet Theatre London in association with The Abbey Theatre. It is supported by The Arts Council of Ireland. Artist and musician accommodation sponsored by Flynn Hotels (The Imperial Hotel) and The Doyle Collection (River Lee Hotel).

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