Press Release 24 July 20088
The Gate Theatre’s Beckett Season
receives critical acclaim on Broadway
The Gate Theatre’s Beckett Season is currently receiving unlimited praise at the prestigious Lincoln Center Festival 2008 in New York, starring renowned actors Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Barry McGovern. It has also been confirmed that American actress Cynthia Nixon will join the list in what is hotting up to be an all star Poetry and Prose weekend.
The American Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress, best known for her portrayal of lawyer Miranda in the popular HBO comedy series and movie Sex and the City, will recite a number of Beckett works, under the direction of Gate Theatre Director and Beckett champion Michael Colgan, during the Gate’s Poetry and Prose Readings at Lincoln Center Festival on Sunday 26th July. An avid Beckett Fan, Nixon has talked extensively of her desire to return to the theatre, where she began her career. True to form, Gate Theatre Director Michael Colgan persuaded her to be part of the much talked about Season, currently gathering the praise of the New York critics. Nixon is looking forward to bringing her own interpretation and knowledge of Beckett to the readings in a number of excerpts from the novellas Murphy, Company and Watt and some of Beckett’s poetry. She will also be joined by a host of dignitaries from stage and screen, including Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes, who will also taking part in what is sure to be a very unique event. The readings will begin on Saturday and will conclude the Festival on Sunday.
The Season, which is the Gate’s fourth visit to Lincoln Center Festival and comprises of three Beckett plays not originally conceived for the theatre as well as two days of Poetry and Prose, began on Wednesday 16th July. In the first of these visits, the Gate helped launch the first ever Lincoln Center Festival in 1996 with the renowned Beckett Festival, producing all 19 of Samuel Beckett’s stage plays. The sold-out run met with universal acclaim, with Time Magazine calling it ‘the year’s great theatrical event’. In 1999 the Gate returned with a Friel Festival followed by an acclaimed Pinter Festival in 2001, which Michael Colgan was invited to curate.
Eh Joe, directed by Atom Egoyan and features the voice of Penelope Wilton, stars renowned Irish actor Liam Neeson in his critically acclaimed debut role for the Gate, in a production that The New York Times described as “an unforgettable experience, 30 spellbinding minutes that seem to transport you to a timeless dimension”. Neeson, whose films include Schindler’s List, Michael Collins and Kinsey, last appeared onstage in New York in The Play What I Wrote and a revival of The Crucible in 2002. Eh Joe was first presented at the Gate in 2006, starring Michael Gambon, and subsequently transferred to the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, receiving critical and popular acclaim. In January of last year the production was seen at the Sydney Festival as part of a sold out Gate Beckett Season with Charles Dance in the title role.
The Gate Theatre’s celebrated production of I'll Go On is a one-man show, based on Beckett’s Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable, with texts selected by Gerry Dukes and Barry McGovern. First performed at the Gate in 1985, this tour de force starring Barry McGovern, Ireland's greatest interpreter of Samuel Beckett, has toured worldwide to great critical acclaim. Directed by Colm Ó Briain, with design by Robert Ballagh and lighting by James McConnell, the production is receiving glowing reviews: “McGovern embodies these variously abject, embittered and infuriated story spinners with an intensity that both tickles and stings” The New York Times.
First Love, Beckett’s darkly humorous post war novella, stars international stage and screen actor Ralph Fiennes with direction by Gate Theatre Director and Beckett champion Michael Colgan, design by Eileen Diss, and lighting by James McConnell. This darkly comic tale is receiving wonderful praise in New York from audiences and critics alike: “In his virtuoso solo performance, Fiennes meticulously explores every level of his spiraling descent into despair. Prepare to be mesmerized” Variety.
The Gate Theatre is grateful to Culture Ireland for their generous support with this tour.