Press Releases

Only UK performance of Beckett masterpiece – University of Reading

Release Date : 05 December 2009

Samual Beckett

The Beckett International Foundation at the University of Reading is presenting the only UK performance of Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape.


Rick Cluchey returns to the role of Krapp which he first performed in 1963 in San Quentin Prison where he was imprisoned for a decade.


The play remains one of Beckett’s major plays (along with Waiting for Godot and Endgame) and was directed by Beckett himself on several occasions.


Dr Mark Nixon, Co-Director of The Beckett International Foundation/Department of English and American Literature, said: “This is a rare opportunity to see the founding member of the San Quentin Drama Workshop, Rick Cluchey, perform in a role which he first played while in prison in the 1960s. Samuel Beckett directed Rick Cluchey in Krapp’s Last Tape in Berlin in 1977.”


Krapp is the single character of Krapp’s Last Tape. He is 69,

isolated, near-sighted, and cynical. Krapp’s tradition is to record a new tape on each birthday, in order to review the events of the previous year and comment on the events of years past.


The Beckett International Foundation is a charitable trust at the University, and administers the world’s largest collection of resources relating to Samuel Beckett.


Based on an exhibition mounted in 1971, the collection grew rapidly, in large part through the patronage and generosity of Beckett himself, who continued to donate material until his death in 1989. Material is constantly being added, both by donation and by purchase.

The play will be performed on Friday, 11 December, at 8pm at the Bob Kayley Studio Theatre on the Bulmershe Campus. Tickets cost £10 (waged) and £8 (unwaged) and can be reserved by sending an email to Dr Mark Nixon at Please pay at the door on the evening of the performance (box office opens at 6.30pm).





For more information please contact Rona Cheeseman on 0118 378 7388, email


Notes to editor

Dr Mark Nixon and Rick Cluchey are available for interview. Please contact the press office to arrange.


The Department of English and American Literature at Reading is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research. In the most recent RAE (2008), 90% of the work submitted by the Department was judged to be of international standard.

It has seven main collaborative research areas: American Studies, Beckett Studies, Book History, Children's Literature, Early Modern Studies and Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Literature, although individual research engages with all the major periods and genres of English and American literature.


University of Reading

The University of Reading is rated as one of the top 200 universities in the world (THE-QS World Rankings 2009).


  • The University of Reading is one of the UK’s top research-intensive universities. The University is ranked in the top 20 UK higher education institutions in securing research council grants worth nearly £10 million from EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, AHRC and BBSRC. In the RAE 2008, over 87% of the university’s research was deemed to be of international standing. Areas of particular research strength recognised include meteorology and climate change, typography and graphic design, archaeology, philosophy, food biosciences, construction management, real estate and planning, as well as law.


  • Standards of teaching are excellent - the University scored highly in the National Student Survey 2009.  87% of Reading students responding to the survey stated they were satisfied with the quality of their course.


  • The University is estimated to contribute £600 million to the local economy annually.


·        University of Reading is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.


·        More information at


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