By Mark Shenton
24 Oct 2012
This previously unstaged Beckett radio play stars Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon under the direction of Trevor Nunn. It moves to the Arts, which was the original London home of Beckett's Waiting for Godot in the 1950s, where Peter hall directed the first English-language production.
The production is produced by Richard Darbourne, Thelma Holt and Gene David Kirk for Jermyn Street Theatre. The cast also includes Oliver Barry-Brook, Ruairi Conaghan, Ian Conningham, Catherine Cusack, Aidan Dunlop, Frank Grimes, James Hayes and Gerard Horan.
All That Fall was specially commissioned by the BBC as a radio play, when it was first heard on the Third Programme in 1957. The piece charts the journey of old and unwieldy Mrs. Rooney as she drags herself towards a railway station on a Saturday lunchtime to meet her blind husband on his way back from the office to guide him home. Along the way she passes the time of day with a man with a dung cart and a man with a bicycle. A third man with a motor-car offers her a lift and a church-struck spinster helps her up the station steps.
In a press statement prior to the Jermyn Street run Nunn commented, "For many years I have been hoping to present Samuel Beckett's extraordinary radio play All That Fall on stage. The Jermyn Street Theatre is the perfect intimate space for this unique project, as I attempt to recreate the studio circumstances for which the play was written. Most excitingly, this rare staging of a little known Beckett masterpiece has attracted the involvement of two world famous actors, Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon, to play the leading parts of Mrs. and Mr. Rooney. Richly showing Beckett's connection to O'Casey, the play moves through comedic situations to a conclusion as disturbingly bleak as anything in his writing. My hope is that audiences won't try to find and read the play beforehand, but come to it as if it is a new work about which they know almost nothing. The impact of this play will then be at its most devastating."
To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7836 8463, or visit jermynstreettheatre.co.uk for more details.