Corpus Soma, The Krapp of My Life: Toward a Poor Imitation of Samuel Beckett

Review in Issue 19-4 | Winter 2007

Corpus Soma’s re-imagination of Beckett’s short masterpiece of identity, mortality and regret was satisfying on every level. As an adaptation the production intelligently transposed the key ideas, articulate in its sense of disconnection, regret, and the (theatrical, existential) noman’s land of introspection. Re-casting Krapp’s tape machine as an interaction with the internet sounds hackneyed, but the company’s rigour in pursuing the parallel yielded unexpected pleasures: the increasingly frantic physical exploration of a huge projected desktop, interacting directly with its icons and culminating in the performer ricocheting around the stage cavern of cyberspace as the human cry of Elgar’s cello concerto was distorted and enlivened through electronic beats, was a sequence of pure theatrical pleasure. In many ways, this show addressed central preconceptions of Beckett’s work. Geometrical translations of action, the pushing of the performed body to its limits, a snapshot of the essential state of contemporary man focused through the lens of drama. So an intelligent engagement with Beckett’s ideas, but a production which never lost its sense of playfulness. A witty use of objects, some cheeky audience interaction and a very pleasing riff on the random balanced the more provocative self-recognition asked of the audience. It is the job of an adaptation to at the least fully meet its original, as well as to justify its re-presentation. To engage with Beckett, to push his ideas further into the contemporary, is a deeply impressive feat – and to transpose them with such wit, thoughtfulness and panache may even have gestured toward surpassing that.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 2007

This article in the magazine

Issue 19-4
p. 31