Press release For immediate release Best of Samuel Beckett by RobbiePaul

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									Press release
For immediate release

Best of Samuel Beckett with Irishman Conor Lovett in First Love at the Baxter

The best of Beckett will hit Cape Town when Irishman Conor Lovett performs Nobel Prize-winning
author Samuel Beckett’s early novella First Love, directed by Judy Hegarty Lovett, in the Baxter Golden
Arrow Studio (formerly Sanlam Studio) for a limited one-week season from June 29 to July 4, at 7.30pm
nightly.

Presented by one of Ireland’s foremost theatre companies, Gare St Lazare Players Ireland, the one-
hander will have its African debut at the Baxter before heading off to the National Arts Festival,
Grahamstown.

“Gare St Lazare Players Ireland are delighted to be visiting South Africa and to be presenting our work
for the first time at the Baxter Theatre Centre is an extra bonus. We look forward to sharing our love of
Beckett’s work with an African audience”, said Lovett about the company’s tour to the country.

Conor’s captivating impression on stage has earned him the reputation of being one of the world’s
greatest Beckett interpreters and actors. In all he has performed 17 Beckett roles in 24 different Beckett
productions internationally, having appeared all over Ireland and the UK and in China, France,
Germany, Holland, Israel, USA and Spain. With a plethora of theatre roles including Ferdinand in The
Duchess of Malfi, Lucky in Waiting For Godot and the title role in Orpheus, Lovett has also co-produced
numerous productions and has appeared on screen.

Acclaimed director Judy Hegarty Lovett is a veteran when it comes to working with Beckett’s literature.
With directing credits that include Waiting For Godot, Rockaby and The Unnamable, she has also
directed numerous non-Beckett plays which include Bouncers by John Godber and, more recently, The
Great Hunger for the Dublin Theatre Festival. In 1996 she directed Conor Lovett in Beckett’s Molloy in
London and shortly thereafter the pair set up Gare St Lazare Players Ireland. As part of Cork 2005
European Capital of Culture, Judy directed Anseo a mask piece devised and performed by HIV positive
non-actors in Cork, Ireland.

First Love, a hit at last year’s Dublin Theatre Festival, contains much of Beckett’s distinctive black
humour and a plot that is regarded as a masterpiece of Beckettian perversity.

The play looks at the idea of male commitment. It takes an intriguing and often amusing look at a
young man who, upon the death of his father, has been evicted from his home. He takes refuge on a
bench where he encounters a woman. He develops an infatuation with her even though he originally
resents her intrusion. From this meeting the woman takes him home which results in humorous yet dire
consequences. This engaging monologue progresses into this man’s struggles to make sense of his
body and feelings which are continually at odds with each other. The performance plays on the theme
often expressed by the playwright that “Nothing is funnier than unhappiness”.

The Times said, “Under Judy Hegarty Lovett’s disciplined direction, this renowned Beckett interpreter
performs without pretension or indulgence,” and the Belfast Newsletter called Lovett “The funniest man
on an Irish stage,” while The Irish Times exclaimed “A triumph of literary excavation … Judy Hegarty
Lovett and her performer have traced every thought within a tangle of prose, ideas and corrosive wit.”

As the collaborative output of Judy Hegarty Lovett and Conor Lovett, Gare St Lazare Players Ireland
has earned an international reputation for artistic excellence and faithful renditions of Beckett’s prose.
The company has represented Irish culture in more venues worldwide than any other Irish theatre
company, with performances that manage to highlight equally the humanity and humour inherent in the
work of Samuel Beckett. With a repertory that includes 18 Beckett titles, they have also produced new
versions of Beckett’s seven radio plays, which were broadcast in 2006. The company often tours
internationally and it has presented Beckett on some of the world’s greatest stages such as
Steppenwolf (Chicago), Stadschowburg (Rotterdam) and Riverside Studios (London), as well as the
Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre.

First Love is presented with the kind permission of Georges Borchardt Inc on behalf of the Estate of
Samuel Beckett. This production of First Love toured to 25 theatres in Ireland and also in Greece,
Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Switzerland and USA in 2008. In January of this year it played The Public
Theatre, New York and in June at the Long Wharf Theatre as part of the New Haven Festival of Art and
New Ideas. The company has just finished an Irish tour of their latest show Moby Dick by Herman
Melville and presented solo performance with the same team.

First Love opens at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio (formerly Sanlam Studio) on 29 June and runs for
one week only until 4 July. Performances are at 19:30 nightly with a matinee performance on Saturday
4 July at 15:00.

Ticket prices range between R85 and R120 and booking is through Computicket on 083 915 8000,
online at www.computicket.co.za or at any Shoprite Checkers outlets countrywide. For discounted
block, schools or corporate bookings, charities and fundraisers, contact Yandiswa on 021 680 3991,
Sharon on 021 680 3962 and Taryn on 021 680 3993 during office hours.

For further media enquiries, interview or picture requests please contact Fahiem Stellenboom,
Marketing Manager, Baxter Theatre Centre on 021 680 3971, cell 072 2656 023 or email
fahiem.stellenboom@uct.ac.za or Jane Boxall on 021 680 3963, cell 083 412 3955 or email
jane.boxall@uct.ac.za.

Biographies and Production History
Gare St Lazare Players Ireland
Gare St Lazare Players Ireland has an international reputation for artistic excellence. The collaborative
output of joint artistic directors Judy Hegarty Lovett (director) and Conor Lovett (actor) has earned an
international reputation for entirely accessible and faithful renditions of Beckett's prose that highlight
equally the humanity and humour inherent in the work of the Nobel Prize-winning author. The company
have represented Irish culture in more venues worldwide than any other Irish theatre company.

The company's repertory includes 18 Samuel Beckett titles, including the prose pieces Molloy, Malone
Dies, The Unnamable, Lessness, Worstward Ho, Texts for Nothing, Enough, First Love and The End,
and the plays Waiting For Godot, Rockaby and A Piece of Monologue. In 2006 the company produced
new versions of Beckett's seven radio plays, which were broadcast by RTE during the Beckett
Centenary Festival. Additional work includes Swallow, written and performed by Michael Harding, and
The Good Thief by Conor McPherson.

Eight of the last 12 productions have toured Ireland and recent years have seen international tours to
Bulgaria, China, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Israel, Poland, Romania, Spain, Switzerland,
Turkey, UK and the USA. They have presented Beckett on some of the world's great stages, among
them the National Theatres of Great Britain, Bulgaria, Romania and Israel, as well as Steppenwolf
(Chicago), Stadschowburg (Rotterdam), the National Concert Hall (Dublin), Schiffbau (Zurich), The
English Theatre (Berlin), Riverside Studios (London) and Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre. In June
2008 this production of First Love was performed at the Long Wharf Theater as part of the New Haven
Festival of Art & New Ideas before touring to South Africa.

The company has just toured its latest production, Moby Dick, to 27 theatres in Ireland. Adapted from
the great American novel by Herman Melville and performed by Conor Lovett and directed by Judy
Hegarty Lovett, the production premiered in April 2009 in Youghal, Co. Cork, Ireland, which served as
the location for Nantucket Island in John Huston's film Moby Dick that starred Gregory Peck.

The company has released audio CD versions of Molloy and First Love by Samuel Beckett. The current
touring Repertory (available from late 2009 and later) includes The End, First Love, Texts For Nothing,
Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett, The Good Thief by Conor McPherson
and Moby Dick by Herman Melville, all performed by Conor Lovett and directed by Judy Hegarty
Lovett. For further information go visit www.garestlazareplayersireland.com or www.gslp.ie

Production History
Moby Dick by Herman Melville. 2009 Town Hall, Youghal, Co. Cork.
The End by Samuel Beckett, 2008, Parade Tower, Kilkenny Arts Festival.
First Love by Samuel Beckett 2008, Siamsa Tire, Tralee.
The Good Thief by Conor McPherson, 2006, Rubicon Theatre, Ventura, CA, USA.
Worstward Ho by Samuel Beckett, 2005, Cork Public Museum, Cork.
Texts For Nothing by Samuel Beckett, 2005 Masonic Lodge, Cork.
A Piece of Monologue by Samuel Beckett, 2004, Rubicon Theatre, Ventura, CA, USA.
Enough by Samuel Beckett, 2004, Casino Marino, Dublin.
Swallow by Michael Harding, 2003, Dublin City Gallery – Hugh Lane, Dublin.
Behold Me Large by Der Lovett, 2002, Dublin Fringe Festival.
Lessness by Samuel Beckett, 2002, Kilkenny Arts Festival.
The Beckett Trilogy – Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett, 2001 Kilkenny Arts
Festival.
Malone Dies by Samuel Beckett, 2000, Kilkenny Arts Festival.
Molloy by Samuel Beckett, 1996, Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), London.
The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter, 1995, Barons Court Theatre, London.
Rockaby by Samuel Beckett, 1994, Institut Oceanographique, Paris.
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, 1992, Theatre Marie Stuart, Paris.

All above productions directed by Judy Hegarty Lovett except A Piece of Monologue (directed by
Walter Asmus).

Judy Hegarty Lovett
Judy has a Fine Art degree in Performance Art/Mixed Media and a post-graduate diploma in
Dramatherapy. Judy worked as a photographer and set designer with a number of Cork theatre
companies before moving to Paris in 1991 where she joined the original Gare St Lazare Players
(Chicago) as an assistant to Artistic Director Bob Meyer. In 1996 she directed Conor Lovett in Molloy by
Samuel Beckett in London and, shortly thereafter, the pair set up Gare St Lazare Players Ireland.

Judy’s Beckett directing credits include Waiting for Godot, Rockaby and prose recitals of Molloy,
Malone Dies, The Unnamable, Lessness, Enough, Texts For Nothing, Worstward Ho, First Love and
The End. In April 2006 for the Beckett Centenary Festival in Dublin Judy directed new versions of
Beckett’s six radio plays; All That Fall, Embers, Roughs for Radio I & II, Cascando, Words & Music and
his translation of The Old Tune by Robert Pinget, as well as readings of Beckett’s prose and poetry by
Tony Award-winner Anna Manahan (The Beauty Queen of Leenane) and renowned Irish actors David
Kelly and John Kavanagh.
Non-Beckett directing credits include Bouncers by John Godber, The Possibilities by Howard Barker,
The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter, Swallow by Michael Harding, Tanks A Lot (co-written by Judy and
Raymond Keane) and, most recently, The Good Thief by Conor McPherson at Rubicon Theatre,
Ventura, California, which starred Conor Lovett. At the Dublin Theatre Festival 2004 Judy directed a
staged reading of The Great Hunger by Tom McIntyre at the Abbey Theatre for its centenary
celebrations. As part of Cork 2005 European Capital of Culture, Judy directed Anseo, a mask piece
devised and performed by HIV+ non-actors at The Glucksman Gallery, Cork.

Conor Lovett
Conor trained at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. His work with Gare St Lazare Players Ireland on
Samuel Beckett has earned him a reputation as one of the world’s great Beckett actors. In all he has
performed 17 Beckett roles in 23 different Beckett productions internationally and has performed
Beckett in over 17 countries worldwide. In the USA Conor has played at the Fisher Center for the
Performing Arts (Bard College), Steppenwolf (Chicago), the Irish Arts Centre (New York), UCLA Live
(Los Angeles) and at the Rubicon Theatre, Ventura.

He played the role of Lucky in the 2003 revivals of the Gate Theatre’s production of Waiting For Godot
directed by Walter Asmus and played in What Where and Acts Without Words 1 and 2 at the Barbican
in London during the Gate’s London Beckett Festival in 1999. He has performed with Gare St Lazare
Players since 1992 under the direction of both Bob Meyer and Judy Hegarty Lovett and in 2004 was
again directed by Walter Asmus in Beckett's A Piece of Monologue in a Gare St Lazare/Rubicon co-
production.

Non-Beckett theatre roles include Ferdinand in The Duchess of Malfi, Joey in The Homecoming, Army
in Requiem for a Heavyweight, Les in Bouncers, The Torturer in The Possibilities, Gus in The Dumb
Waiter, the title role in Orpheus, Ed in Entertaining Mr Sloane and The Narrator in Fabulous Beast's
The Bull. In 2007 he played David in Leaves by Lucy Caldwell, a co-production with Druid
(Galway)/Royal Court Theatre (London) which was directed by Garry Hynes (Cripple of Inishmaan,
Leenane Trilogy). In 2007 he worked with Peter Brook on a workshop towards his forthcoming creation
11 and 12.

For the screen Conor co-produced and starred in Shut Eye directed by Jon Tompkins. Other screen
appearances include Father Ted, Intermission, Moll Flanders, L'Entente Cordiale, The Kings of Cork
City, Small Engine Repair and Fallout.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION
Produced by: The Baxter Theatre Centre and Gare St Lazare Players Ireland
Written by: Samuel Beckett
Directed by: Judy Hegarty Lovett
Starring: Conor Lovett

Dates:
Opens 29 June and runs until 4 July at 19:30 nightly, and 15:00 Saturday matinee performance on
Saturday 4 July.

Booking:
Book through Computicket on 083 915 8000, online at www.computicket.co.za or at any Shoprite
Checkers outlets countrywide.
For discounted block, schools or corporate bookings, charities and fundraisers, contact Yandiswa on
021 680 3991, Sharon on 021 680 3962 and Taryn on 021 680 3993 during office hours.

Prices:
Monday, 29 June: R85
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: R110-00
Friday and Saturday: R120-00
Saturday Matinee: R100-00

Ends

								
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