Krapp's Last Tape was first performed by Patrick Magee at the Royal Court Theatre in October 1958, and described as 'a solo, if that is the word, for one voice and two organs: one human, one mechanical. It fills few pages. It is perhaps the most original and important play of its length ever written.' (Roy Walker)
The present volume brings together Krapp's Last Tape and Beckett's other shorter works or 'dramaticules' written for the stage. It will be complemented by a forthcoming Faber edition of dramatic works written for radio and screen.
Arranged in chronological order of composition, these shorter plays exhibit the laconic means and compassionate ends of Beckett's dramatic vision.
KRAPP 'Here I end this reel. Box - [Pause.] - three, spool - [Pause.] - five. [Pause.] Perhaps my best years have gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldn't want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldn't want them back. [Staring motionless before him.]
Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin in 1906. He was educated at Portora Royal School and Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated in 1927. His made his poetry debut in 1930 with Whoroscope and followed it with essays and two novels before World War Two. He wrote one of his most famous plays, Waiting for Godot, in 1949 but it wasn't published in English until 1954. Waiting for Godot brought Beckett international fame and firmly established him as a leading figure in the Theatre of the Absurd. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961. Beckett continued to write prolifically for radio, TV and the theatre until his death in 1989.