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TBA 2010: Gare St. Lazare Players Trilogy

The Beckett Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable

By Claudia La Rocco September 15, 2010

On Monday, Mike Daisey’s Agony and Ectasy stretched for two and a half hours. And last night, The Beckett Trilogy clocked in at close to four. They don’t call it time-based art for nothing.

I’ve already praised the actor Conor Lovett and director Judy Hegarty Lovett for their marvelous production of Beckett’s First Love. Their Trilogy shares many of the same virtues (and is even more of an endurance test, one Lovett and his adoring audience passed admirably); this is perhaps because, as the Irish actor said during Monday’s noontime chat, he and his wife share a philosophy to “travel light…let the words lead you.”

We’re a little more than midway through the festival, and it’s at this point that one typically starts to see (invent?) all sorts of connections between various artists. And so last night, while bobbing up and down in Beckett’s strange seas, I thought of Lovett’s words in relation to something Elizabeth LeCompte of the Wooster Group said at her chat, that “the technology is the text.”

Like the Woosters’ TBA offering, or Maria Hassabi’s, the Gare St. Lazare Players Ireland leave a lot up to the audience.

“Judy often will speak about not setting on a particular interpretation,” Lovett explained. “If the actor and the director choose an angle, there’s not a lot for the audience to do.”

This, in the end, is how I felt during Daisey’s fist-thumping monologue about the seedy underbelly of high-tech giants like Apple. He made his point. And then he made it again, and again. And we watched, and nodded, and received on our way out a little note explaining how to email Steve Jobs and make the point some more.

I have no beef with that point. It’s an important one, and he made it with quite a lot of humor and skill. But, as art? I’ll take the Lovetts and the LeComptes, every time.

For more information on TBA events, visit PICA. A more comprehensive list of upcoming events can be found at our Arts & Entertainment Calendar.

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