Monday, June 21, 2010

Recommended: "Krapp's Last Tape" at Cutting Ball

Over the last two weekends, I have gone to see the final entries in this year's Hidden Classics Readings Series at Cutting Ball Theater. Both were new translations and featured the actors David Sinaiko and Paul Gerrior in leading roles.

In Paul Walsh's translation of Strindberg's Storm, Sinaiko and Gerrior played brothers who are faced with the return of the woman whom one or both of them once loved. In Beatrice Basso's translation of Goldoni's The Antiquarian's Family (which has never been translated into English before), Sinaiko played an aristocrat so obsessed with collecting antiquities that he is blind to everything else around him, and Gerrior played the middle-class merchant who tries to talk some sense into him.

I mention this because these two talented men are also starring in Cutting Ball's current mainstage production, a revival of last year's Krapp's Last Tape. Gerrior plays the elderly Krapp, and Sinaiko provides the younger Krapp's recorded voice.

As you might recall, I saw this production last year and loved it. I have a lot of other things going on at the moment, so I am not sure if I will make it back to Cutting Ball to see it a second time, but believe me, I'd love to. It is an incredibly moving play. As director Rob Melrose said yesterday, "Forty-five minutes long and you get to evaluate this man's entire life! The power of theater..."

Krapp's Last Tape plays at the Cutting Ball Theater (in residence at the Exit on Taylor) through July 3.


Dr.J said...

Now, this is queer! We always tend to think (we are non-english speaking people in Europe) that the need for translations from english hampers our work, but I see that there is need for translations into english. Goldoni was edited in spanish as far as 1972 (of course translating italian into spanish is fairly easy) Beckett´s Krapp was on stage last month at least in Colombia, Argentina and Spain. an argentinian critic wrote that Beckett´s acceptance nowadays could come from the existence of most "postmodern" features in his plays (dehumanization, fragmentation,..) avant la letre.
I am trying to write a short essay on a group of english novelists borned between 1902 and 1905, i.e. Connolly, Powell, Waugh, Mitford, Bates... and find the trouble of the lack of translations of their letters, memories and so on. Nancy Mitford´s novels only began to be published last year as well as Cyril Connolly Complete essays and Anthony Powell "A dance to the music of time".
So, every language has its own problems I am afraid.
Frankly, Krapp, Goldoni and Strindberg are barely "hidden".

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Marissa said...

Oh yes, there is a big need for translations into English--in fact, didn't the head of the Nobel Prize committee say "American authors are too insular and don't read enough literature in translation"? And another problem is that translations have to be redone every 20 years or so because language changes subtly. I'm about to begin translating a French play because, while it is available in English, I find the other translations unsatisfactory.

"Krapp" is fairly frequently produced in the United States, but Goldoni and Strindberg aren't--so, yes, they do count as "hidden" for the purposes of this series. There are VERY few theaters in this country that would actually mount a production of "Storm" or "The Antiquarian's Family." Which is why I feel privileged to have Cutting Ball in my city!

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