“Cheers and bravos and laughter”

Regular Sluggerites will be aware that Sam Beckett is responsible for one of my favoured analogy for the ongoing processing and this year sees the centenary of his birth, on 13 April 1906. Today’s Observer has wonderful extracts from the soon-to-published Beckett Remembering: Remembering Beckett: Uncollected Interviews with Samuel Beckett and Memories of Those Who Knew Him, including the following assessment by playwright Tom Stoppard – see below the fold.

“There’s stuff I’ve written I can’t bear to watch. They get rotten like fruit and the softest get rotten first. They’re not like ashtrays. You make an ashtray and come back next year and it’s the same ashtray. Beckett and Pinter have a lot more chance of writing ashtrays because they’ve thrown out all the potentially soft stuff. I think Beckett has redefined the minima of what theatre could be … In 1956 when Waiting for Godot was done in Bristol, Peter O’Toole was in the company. I was immobilised for weeks after I saw it. Historically, people had assumed that in order to have a valid theatrical event you had to have x. Beckett did it with x minus 5. And it was intensely theatrical. He changed the ground rules.”

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