Shakespeare Theatre Company Presents John Hurt in Krapp's Last Tape


The Shakespeare Theatre Company welcomes Oscar-nominated actor John Hurt to the company's stage in Samuel Beckett's one-man show, Krapp's Last Tape. Direct from the Gate Theatre in Ireland, the production will be presented at the company's Lansburgh Theatre (450 7th St. NW) from November 29 to December 4, 2011.

The Gate Theatre's Krapp's Last Tape joins a long list of hugely successful productions presented at STC, maintaining a commitment to bring top-quality theatre to the D.C. area. "We are thrilled to continue our efforts through our presentation series to bring amazing theatre from around the globe to Washington, D.C. that otherwise may not be seen here," says Chris Jennings, STC's Managing Director. "Given their long standing history with Samuel Beckett, this is the perfect production to introduce the Gate Theatre from Dublin, Ireland, to our audiences." STC previously presented Phèdre from The National Theatre of Great Britain, The Great Game: Afghanistan from London's Tricycle Theatre and Black Watch from The National Theatre of Scotland. Most recently, the first national tour of FELA premiered at STC's Sidney Harman Hall. In March, STC will present Basil Twist's Petrushka at the Lansburgh Theatre.

STC is the first of only two venues to present the production in the country. Because Krapp's Last Tape will be presented at the Lansburgh Theatre, audiences will be able to experience the story in an intimate setting. This limited engagement, previously performed in Dublin and London, will continue its U.S. tour in New York from December 6 to December 18. The Daily Telegraph exclaims, "This is the play, and the production you should see...I cannot imagine it better performed."

Krapp's Last Tape tells the story of a man alone on his 69th birthday, preparing for his own "party" of sorts, surrounded by volume after volume of a life on tape. Before recording his annual account of another year gone by, Krapp carefully selects a vintage tape and drinks of his past. What he hears from his 39-year-old self may irrevocably change his future. In Krapp's Last Tape, Nobel Prize-winning playwright Samuel Beckett reminds us that while we may know more now than we did when we were younger, our past always has something to teach us. Hurt's performance in this masterful solo-study has been heralded as "perfection" and "unmissable" by The Independent, bringing new depths to the bitterly nostalgic title character.

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John Hurt is best known for his insightful portrayals of character roles. He was most recently seen as Mr. Olivander in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2. His most notable film roles include Alien, V for Vendetta, The Naked Civil Servant, Scandal, The Hit, Nineteen Eighty-Four, A Man For All Seasons, Midnight Express and The Elephant Man. On stage, he has performed in such productions as Travesties, The Dwarfs, Afterplay and London Vertigo. His television credits include I Claudius, The Alan Clark Diaries and An English Man in New York for which he received a special Teddy Award at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival for his outstanding acting performance. He has received numerous awards including six BAFTA nominations and three BAFTAS, two Oscar nominations, the Evening Standard Award and a Golden Globe. Hurt was granted a C.B.E. in 2004 and was awarded a Fellowship by the British Film Institute in October 2009.


Michael Colgan is Director of the Gate Theatre Dublin. He has been the Director for 28 years and in that time he has produced a great many award-winning productions and festivals. Notably, these included five Pinter Festivals and six Beckett Festivals. Many of the productions have been seen throughout the world from Beijing to New York, Sydney to Toronto and London to Melbourne. Most recently, the Gate produced B.P.M.-a Beckett Pinter Mamet Festival, which comprised a season of works dedicated to the work of these great writers.

For the Gate, he has directed Brian Friel's Faith Healer, which opened at the Sydney Festival 2009 as part of the playwright's 80th birthday celebrations, and later toured to the Edinburgh International Festival. He also directed Ralph Fiennes in a stage adaptation of Beckett's novella First Love at the Sydney Festival 2007 and at Lincoln Center Festival, New York, 2008. Most recently he directed Michael Gambon in Krapp's Last Tape, which transferred to London's Duchess Theatre in October 2010.

Alongside his work for the theatre, Colgan is also a film and television producer. In 1999 with Alan Moloney, he formed Blue Angel Films specifically to produce the Beckett on Film project in which all 19 of Beckett's plays were filmed using internationally renowned directors and actors. In 2002, the project won the South Bank Show Award and the prestigious Peabody Award.

In 2000, Colgan received the honorary degree of Doctor in Laws from Trinity College, Dublin. He was awarded the Irish Times Theatre Award for lifetime achievement in the Arts in 2006 and, in 2007, was honored with the title Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. In 2010 he was awarded an O.B.E. by Queen Elizabeth II for services to cultural relations between the UK and Ireland.


Samuel Beckett was an Irish poet and dramatist who today is widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century. He studied Romance Languages at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland where he met his lifelong friend and strong influence, James Joyce. Beckett was known for putting his subjects in absurd situations in order to illuminate the essential aspects of human existence. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. Writing in both French and English, Beckett is best known for creating Waiting for Godot. His other works include Endgame, Ghost Trio, Happy Days, Play, Quad and Words and Music. He also wrote numerous novels including How It Is, Molloy, Murphy, The Unnamable and Watt. Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape first premiered in 1958.

ABOUT THE Shakespeare Theatre Company

During the 2011-2012 Season, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is set to celebrate! Not only is it the 25th year of Michael Kahn's leadership, vision and artistic direction but, over the past quarter of a century, STC has become one of the nation's leading theatre companies. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company's innovative approach to Shakespeare and other classic playwrights has earned it the reputation as the nation's premier classical theatre company. By focusing on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced, the Company's artistic mission is unique among theatre companies: to present theatre of scope and size in an imaginative, skillful and accessible American style that honors the playwrights' language and intentions while viewing their work through a 21st-century lens.

In its 2007-2008 Season, the company opened the Harman Center for the Arts, consisting of the new 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall and the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre, both located in downtown Washington's Penn Quarter neighborhood. A dynamic hub of activity, the Harman Center showcases the company as well as outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. STC's annual Free For All performance, a re-creation of a production from seasons past staged for free in August and September, is now held at Sidney Harman Hall. Sidney Harman Hall is located at 610 F Street NW. The Lansburgh Theatre also plays host to a number of different performing arts organizations and several of STC's main stage productions. The Lansburgh Theatre is located at 450 7th Street NW.

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