Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon To Star in Beckett's All That Fall, Directed by Trevor Nunn

News   Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon To Star in Beckett's All That Fall, Directed by Trevor Nunn
Dame Eileen Atkins and Sir Michael Gambon are to star in Sir Trevor Nunn's new production of Samuel Beckett's radio play All That Fall at London's fringe Jermyn Street Theatre, beginning performances Oct.9, prior to an official opening Oct. 11, for a run through Nov. 3.

Trevor Nunn
Trevor Nunn Photo by Gautier Deblonde

Jermyn Street Theatre may be located in the heart of the West End, just off Piccadilly Circus, but it seats just 70 people, so the presence of two knights and a dame of the theatre in such a small space is a major coup.

In a press statement, Nunn has 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."

Gene David Kirk, artistic director of the theatre, adds, "This is a quadruple coup for Jermyn Street Theatre. A rare staging by one of the most influential figures of twentieth century theatre directed by one of the most lauded directors of his generation and starring two of the greatest actors working today. Any one of those ingredients would have been massive for a theatre of our size but to have them together makes us immensely proud and excited. For a tiny auditorium in the heart of Theatreland, surrounded by the West End's legendary playhouses, this proves that Jermyn Street Theatre delivers a punch far above its weight."

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.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7287 2875, or visit jermynstreettheatre.co.uk.

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