John Hurt on Samuel Beckett

An interview by Arminta Wallace (The irish Times)
John Hurt
From The Irish Times
“I was living in Wicklow when Michael Colgan first asked me to do it,” he says, referring to the theatre’s director. “He came up to the Roundwood Inn. It was, shall we say, holiday time. And I wasn’t exactly sober. I said, ‘Let me think about it.’ Of course I put it off. I was always a bit worried about Beckett. I thought I didn’t know enough about it and that you had to be a bit of an intellectual to take it on. And I wasn’t scoring myself as such. In the end I said yes.

“Six months later Michael asked me again. I said, ‘Michael, I said I’d do it.’ And he said, ‘I know, but you were drunk at the time.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m telling you now, and I’m drunk now.’ Eventually we all sobered up and put it on.”


Beckett being Beckett, there’s very little there to begin with. The sparsest of stagings – just Krapp and his tape recorder and those precious spools of tape, really – and the minimum of dialogue. “Yes. He takes absolutely everything away. And we keep taking more and more away, as the years go by.”


One new thing Hurt does bring to Krapp, though, is that he actually looks a bit like Beckett. Or is that just accidental? “I do contrive to,” he says. “When my hair is white and it’s short like this, it’s very similar to his cut and so on. Let’s say I can give that impression. I mean, I don’t really look like Beckett at all. God. I should be so lucky.” [Read More]
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