The London revival of Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape, starring John Hurt, will likely not arrive in New York City until the fall, a spokesman for Act Productions, which handles the show in the UK, told Playbill On-Line. The transfer depends on the availability of Hurt and an appropriately intimate house, and, on both fronts, the ice will probably not break until after Gotham's spring theatre crush.
Krapp's Last Tape returned to London in January after its sell-out performances last September at the Barbican. It opened at the West End's New Ambassadors Theatre for a limited seven-week season from Jan. 25 until March 11.
As the piece is a short one, running roughly 45 minutes, it will probably be paired with another one-act. Act Productions has no comment on what the second piece would be -- or whether another play would be attached at all -- but a source close to the project said the second half of the double bill will be a new production of Edward Albee's early work, The Zoo Story. If such a pairing comes to pass, it would be reminiscent of Albee's early Off-Broadway days, when the original U.S. staging of The Zoo Story was teamed with the American premiere Krapp's Last Tape. That show opened 40 years ago, on Jan. 14, 1960, and ran for 582 performances at the Provincetown Playhouse.
Hurt made his return to the stage after a five-year absence to appear in the production in the autumn as part of the Barbican's Beckett Festival, produced in conjunction with Dublin's Gate Theatre. Hurt is best known for his long-running film career in which his credits include "Little Malcolm," "The Elephant Man," "1984," "White Mischief," "The Field," "Crime and Punishment," "Rob Roy" and "Love and Death on Long Island."
Krapp, first performed at the Royal Court in 1958, features a man who, each year on his birthday, records a tape reflecting on the events in his life. Now an old man, he replays passages from his tapes of the previous 30 years and recalls his past loves, disappointments and fascinations. The Zoo Story concerns an encounter on a park bench between a straight-laced businessman and an ambiguous stranger.
--By Robert Simonson
and Terri Paddock