Village festival performance - Hurstpierpoint College

Village festival performance

2019-20 drama season opens with Bits of Beckett

The 2019-20 drama season opened with the college’s contribution to this year’s Hurst Festival with Bits of Beckett. Four of Samuel Beckett’s shorter, less-staged pieces, were performed by six Sixth Form drama scholars, tied together by a series of Beckett-inspired monologues written and performed by cast member Margaux C. 

Fully embracing the scope and challenge of Beckett, the production comprised of pieces based around stripped-back language, with two of the pieces completely without dialogue, relying on movement sequences and mime for their total communication, instead. Coupled with the outright absurdity of Beckett’s writing, this provided a clear challenge for performers, and one that the cast eagerly took on. 

Though perhaps suffering from the unavoidable constraints of Beckett’s works being devoid of straightforward interpretation, or even apparent narrative – conventional or otherwise – the cast nonetheless demonstrated a willingness to present exactly what Beckett put down, vague intangibility intact.  

In his program note, Director Luke Gasper, pointed to the current world situation as being a reason for challenging the students with Beckett’s own vision of the future, summing up that perhaps what seemed absurd in the 1960s is now scarily normal. This production certainly allowed its very appreciative audiences the chance to make their own judgements.  

Charlie Cooper, Drama Gap Student