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Staging Beckett and Contemporary Theatre and Performance Cultures

9-11 April 2015




Thursday 9th April

10.00 -11.00 Registration & coffee

11.00 - 11.30 Welcome and opening address

11.30 - 13.30 Panel 1: Performance and the Archive

  • David Houston Jones (University of Exeter), Performing the Archive in Samuel Beckett
  • Sinead Mooney (De Montfort University), 'Centre and Circumference': Traces of Provincial Godots in the Theatrical Archive, 1955-1970
  • Racquel Merino (University of the Basque Country), Beckett and Spanish stage censorship (1955-1976)
  • Kene Igweonu (Canterbury Christ Church University), Talawa's Waiting for Godot

13.30 - 14.30 Lunch (served each day in the foyer of the Minghella Building)

14.30 - 16.30 Panel 2: The Performing Body

  • Hannah Simpson (Boston University), "Is there anything you ever write for an actor that isn't physically painful?": The Actor's Physical Suffering in the Beckettian Production.
  • Andrew Head (University of Hull), Beckett's Implied Actor: Debts, Legacies and a Contemporary Performance Culture.
  • Niamh Bowe (University of Reading), Ethics in Contemporary Performance: Not I, Footfalls and Rockaby at the Royal Court Theatre, 2014.
  • Andrew Lennon (University of Birmingham), Beckett and Darkness: The drive to and the flight from …

16.30-17.00 Coffee

17.00 - 18.00 Keynote 1: Phillip Zarrilli, Embodied consciousness in the actor's practice: reflections from "inside" Beckett's texts in performance

18.00 - 19.30 Wine reception and launch of the exhibition 'Waiting for Godot: 60 years on' and the Staging Beckett database

Friday 10th April

8.30 - 9.00 Registration & coffee

9.00 - 11.00 Panel 3: Sonic Legacies & Radiophonic Echoes

  • Pim Verhulst (University of Antwerp), Beckett's 'Adaphatroce': Rethinking Theatre through Radio
  • Paul Stewart (University of Nicosia), Adapting Lessness: Lessons from Radio and Stage
  • Lisa Fitzgerald (NUI Galway), Radio Waves: Pan Pan, the BBC and Performing the Radiophonic Body
  • Catherine Laws (University of York), The Legacy of Beckett in Music Theatre

11.00 - 11.15 Coffee

11.15-12.45 Panel 4: Word and Gesture

  • Jack Belloli (University of Cambridge), Beckett, Forced Entertainment and the Grace of Audience Gesture
  • Burç İdem Dinçel (Trinity College Dublin), '"The motion alone is not enough": Hearing Beckett's Footfalls in Suzuki's Grammar of the Feet'
  • David Tucker (University of Chester), 'Smile Off': Beckett's Stage Directions and Performance History

12.45-1.30 Lunch

Exhibition open 12 - 2pm

1.30 - 14.30 Keynote 2: Derval Tubridy, Practice, Performance and the Figural Body

14.30 - 14.45 Coffee

14.45 - 16.45 Panel 5: Irish Theatre and Performance Cultures

  • David Clare (NUI, Galway), The Gate Theatre's Beckett Festivals: Tensions between the Local and the Global
  • Siobhan O'Gorman (Trinity College, Dublin), Beckett out of Focus: Happy Days and Waiting for Godot at Dublin's Focus Theatre
  • Brenda O'Connell (NUI, Maynooth), '"...dreadfully un-..." staged bodies: Beckettian Echoes in Irish Performance Practice and International Experimental Theatre'
  • Rodney Sharkey (Weill Cornell Medical College, Qatar), "The Dark Back Streets:" Beckett in the City

16.45 - 17.00 Coffee

17.00. - 18.00 Keynote 3: S. E. Gontarski, Samuel Beckett in Performance: The Questions We Ask

18.00 - 19.00 Wine reception and launch of Jim Knowlson's Festschrift

20.00 Conference dinner at Loch Fyne, The Maltings Bear Wharf, Fobney St, Reading. See separate registration via the Online Store. If attending the dinner, you must book in advance.

Saturday 11th April

9.00-9.30 Registration and coffee

9.30-11.00 Panel 6: Staging Beckett in International Theatre Cultures

  • Anita Rákóczy (Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences), Earth That Shakes. Earth That Covers. Godot and Happy Days, 2014: Two Beckett Premières in Katona József Theatre, Budapest
  • Luzmaria Sanchez (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana / Lerma (Mexico), Beckett in Mexico
  • Stefano Rosignoli (University of London), Oh les beaux jours: Venice Premiere and Reception in Italy

11.00-11.15 Coffee

11.15- 1.15: Panel 7: Adaptation, Performance & Intermediality

  • Sozita Goudouna (Royal Holloway, University of London), Beckett's Intermedial Breath: Defying The Boundaries Between Staging and Displaying
  • Nicholas Johnson (Trinity College, Dublin), "The Neatness of Identifications": Transgressing Beckett's Genres in Ireland and Northern Ireland, 2000-2015
  • James Little (Trinity College, Dublin), The Politics of Performance at 14 Henrietta Street: Beckett and Anú Productions
  • Roman Fohr (University of Amiens), Life Flashing in a Work of Art

1.15 - 2.00 Lunch

Exhibition open 12 - 2pm

2.00 - 3.00 Keynote 4: Ronald Pickup in conversation

3.00 - 3.30 Coffee

3.30 - 17.30 Samuel Beckett Laboratory Workshop: Samuel Beckett and Experimental Cultures: a performance workshop on The Unnamable & Not I

Co-facilitators: Jonathan Heron & Nicholas Johnson

Please note that places for the workshop are limited and available on a first registered basis only

3.30 - 17.30 Making Performance Histories: Staging Beckett & Beyond

This is an interactive session utilizing the 'Waiting for Godot at 60' exhibition materials in order to critically reflect on how such archival materials help to generate performance histories. The session will provide an opportunity to engage with issues which are important within Beckett Studies and in theatre and performance studies more generally such as the processes of documenting performance, the ways in which we remember (and forget) performance, the elements of performance that the archive fails to record, the problematics of generating narrative from archival remnants, and the relationship between the archive and the institution.

17.30 - 18.30 Closing remarks and repair to Park House on the University of Reading campus


Please print your email confirmation and bring it with you on the day. This document serves as your ticket and you will not be allowed admittance without it.


Important note


  • Please print your email confirmation and bring it with you on the day. This document serves as your ticket and you will not be allowed admittance without it.

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