Skip to main content

Beckett Unbound Festival
Day 2

  • Thursday 6 June 2024

reservation recommended

Programme Day 1 - Wednesday 5 June

Programme Day 3 - Friday 7 June

Beckett Unbound Festival: Day 2

C'est moi dans la poubelle

2pm-8pm at CCI
Admission free

When Ezra Pound was released, after twelve years, from the mental hospital he'd been committed to, he returned to Italy and lapsed into a long silence of deep regret and shame. This was not a vow of silence, just a depressed wordlessness - he felt he'd ruined everything, not least his own Cantos ('a botch - stupidity and ignorance all through'). He went to see Endgame in Paris, uttering only the title of the play. Beckett subsequently came to visit him in Venice, and C’est Moi Dans la Poubelle is a film rendition of this meeting, according to Beckett's account, with treatment by James Lever and directed by Michael O’Neill (Armchair & Rocket).

Director: Michael O’Neill
Written by: James Lever
Producers: Armchair & Rocket
Actors: Lalor Roddy and Vincent Higgins
Photo: Unreal Cities

All That Fall

6pm at CCI
Radio play directed by Adrian Dunbar
10€, in English, 70 mins

The sonic experiments, discoveries and evolutions of Beckett’s radio play All That Fall (1956) led directly to the establishment of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Hungarian / British dramatist Martin Esslin commented that “Beckett and All That Fall thus directly contributed to one of the most important technical advances in the art of radio and the technique, and indeed technology, of radio in Britain.”

Besides Geistertrio, which features extracts from Beethoven’s Ghost Trio (Op. 70), All That Fall’s inclusion of Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 (D.810) is the only other direction by Beckett for the use of a specific composition. This frames director Adrian Dunbar’s re-imagining of a radio play whose dark-driven conclusion is hardly credible after the preceding slapstick of ‘natural’ sounds.

Director: Adrian Dunbar
Actors: Orla Charlton, Anna Nygh, Frank McCusker, Vincent Higgins, Stanley Townsend, Frankie McCafferty.
Sound Design: Simon Roth
Technical Director: Michael Cummins


7pm at La Ménagerie de Verre (12 Rue Lechevin, 75011 Paris)
10€ (5€ for students and unemployed), 60 mins

This dance piece is a Beckett Unbound 2024 Festival commission created by choreographer Liz Roche in collaboration with performer / composers Nathalie Forget and Nick Roth. A major new full-length work for six dancers, saxophone and ondes Martenot, the piece responds to an innocuous-seeming passage in Samuel Beckett’s Molloy where the author explores his wonder, and ‘unknowing’, for the bees – “I often thought of my bees...and I thought above all of their dance, for my bees danced…in a different way.” (Les Éditions de Minuit, 1951)

Fascinated by ethologist Karl von Frisch’s Nobel-prize winning description of the precise way in which bees communicate orientational information through movement, Beckett was one of the first writers to include this groundbreaking discovery into a work of fiction. Angela Moorjani in ‘Beckett and Animals’ (Cambridge, 2013) notes that “the decoding of the honeybee genome in 2006, the year of the Beckett centenary, continues to leave neurobiologists awed by the unexplained cognitive abilities of these highly social hymenopterans. The rapture has not subsided.”

In a space somewhere between social urgency and urgent sociality, Sentient offers a new interpretation of what it is, as a human being, to be only one part of our natural world in its vast communicative complexities. The work travels through different atmospheres exploring vibration, language, and group communication; collectively, the performers adapt to these changing environments.


Sentient, by Liz Roche is commissioned by Unreal Cities for Beckett Unbound, Liverpool/Paris 2024, in association with the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool and the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris.


Funded by The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, supported by Culture Ireland and through partnerships with the new all-Ireland national dance company, The Irish World Academy, University of Limerick and TROIS C-L - Centre de Création Chorégraphique Luxembourgeois.

Cast & team:

Performers: Sarah Cerneaux, Emily Terndrup, Mufutau Yusuf, Conor Thomas Doherty, Grace Cuny, Inez Berdychowska, Nick Roth, Nathalie Forget
Choreographer: Liz Roche
Composers: Nick Roth and Nathalie Forget
Voices: Jenny Roche and Adrian Dunbar
Set and Costume Design: Katie Davenport
Lighting Design: Sinead McKenna
Production Manager: Síofra Nic Liam
Stage Manager: Lisa Krugel
Producer: Gwen Van Spyk for Liz Roche Company
Producing Associate: Emer McMahon
Photographer and videographer: José Miguel Jiménez

Beckett and the Wake

8pm at CCI
Photography/discussion with John Minihan
Admission free, in English, 45 mins

Irish photographer John Minihan photographed the great playwright Samuel Beckett many times in Paris and London, capturing moments that have become iconic images of twentieth-century culture. His friendship with Beckett began through a conversation about Minihan’s acclaimed photographic series, The Wake of Katy Tyrell, which he shot in 1977, while visiting his hometown of Athy in County Kildare.

Impossible to interview and famously camera-shy, Beckett was nevertheless a remarkable photographic subject, with his wise, eagle-like face which reflectedhis greatness and profundity as a writer. In this illustrated talk, John Minihan speaks about his encounters with one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

Beckett Unbound

9pm at CCI
10€, 90 mins

This special festival concert responds to the theatre and dance programme via six contemporary works, featuring three world-première commissions and two UK / France premières.

Composer Kevin Volans’ Quad for string quintet begins as a transliteration of the movement sequences embedded in the geometry of Beckett’s eponymous ‘ballet
for four people’. There are several modifications to the original structure to compensate for the shift from visual to audible imagery, with the second part a freer interpretation of the contrast between the two parts of its progenitor. The new work is a festival commission and will receive its world première and second performance at ‘Beckett Unbound’.

Composer Barry Guy’s Quindecim for baroque violin and double bass is a response to Swiss architect and artist Max Bill’s “Fifteen Variations on a Single Theme” exploring the artist’s idea that “once the basic theme has been chosen - whether it be simple or complex - an infinite number of different developments can be evolved according to individual inclination and temperament”. The work incorporates four Beckett texts (Thither, 10 Mirlitonnades, The Downs, One Dead of Night) into its highly intricate ‘molten architecture’.

Barry Guy’s work for solo cello and electronics ‘SHE!’ is one of two pieces in the music programme that respond to Not I / Pas moi, with the composer “struck by the musicality and rhythmic impetus of the monologue which quickly suggested an approach.” Composed for cellist Kate Ellis, the piece was commissioned by Music for Galway with funds from the Arts Council / An Comhairle Ealaíon and received its premiere in Brigid’s Garden in 2015.

Another festival world première, ‘Mouth’, composed and performed by percussionist Simon Roth, also responds to Not I / Pas moi. It explores the sonic semantics of actress Billie Whitelaw’s famous 1973 rendition of the work (described by Beckett himself as “miraculous”) as well as her hearing her own 'inner scream' in Mouth’s outpourings. Whitelaw said of the piece that “I found so much of my self in Not I. Somewhere in there were my entrails under a microscope.”

Composer Melanie Daiken studied in Paris under Olivier Messiaen and became Deputy Head of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London in the 1980’s. Her father, the radical Irish journalist Leslie Daiken, befriended Beckett after studying French under him in Trinity College Dublin. After an introduction from her father, Melanie and Sam became friends in Paris, and she used to bring him piano music from the Paris Conservatoire. She described her piece ‘When the Cross’, composed for violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved in 1994, as a chaconne. Skærved comments “it's really a full-scale operatic drama for one player and one of the substantial single-movement works for solo violin.” For the Beckett Unbound festival, violist Garth Knox performs the world première of his transcription of the work for solo viola.

Lucky’s Speech, by composer Morgan Hayes, was composed for violinist Darragh Morgan, for the launch of his recital CD Opera on the NMC label in June 2006. The title refers to a pivotal moment in Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot, when the hitherto silent character Lucky suddenly pours forth a torrential stream, reflected musically by almost breathless musical activity punctuated by pizzicato commentaries.

Maya Homburger – baroque violin
Darragh Morgan – violin
Cora Venus Lunny – violin
Fiona Winning – viola
Garth Knox – viola
Kate Ellis – cello
Barry Guy – double bass
Simon Roth – percussion

Fin de Partie

9pm at Théâtre de l'Atelier (1 Pl. Charles Dullin, 75018 Paris)
From 21€, in French, 120 mins

Winner of the Prix Laurent Terzieff 2023 for "Best Show in a Private Theatre", Fin de partie (Endgame) returns to the Théâtre de l'Atelier for 30 exceptional performances.

Having collaborated with emblematic French actor Denis Lavant on a number of Beckett's monologues, Jacques Osinski has taken on a new, exciting andfrightening challenge: his favourite play, Beckett's Fin de partie.

All of a sudden, we have to think big. Are we on Earth? Are we on Noah's Ark after the end of the world or perhaps this is purgatory...