One of the foremost interpreters of Samuel Beckett's work, Conor Lovett, not only will perform The End with his Gare St. Lazare Players of Ireland this weekend at MCLA, he also will do some work with our theatre students.
"We are thrilled to be returning to the MCLA Presents! team and their audience," Lovett said. "I will again be giving a workshop to performing arts students of MCLA, which is a wonderful opportunity to share and to connect with the next generation of theatre artists."
An internationally renowned Samuel Beckett actor, Lovett trained at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. He performs 23 different Beckett productions internationally, and has worked in devised theatre and taught master classes in solo performance.
"The End" will be performed in the MCLA Church Street Center Auditorium on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m. Lovett said it is a pleasure to come back to the College to perform another of Beckett's works.
He hopes audiences will come away from the performance moved and inspired from what he promises will be a great evening of entertainment.
"North Adams has a lot in common with our hometown of Cork, where economic cycles have had their effect and, in more recent times, the arts have had a role in inspiring regeneration," he said. "I did feel a great sense of kinship with the town and the people I met when I visited last year."
"In 'The End,' a man recounts episodes from late in his life where, having been expelled from an institution of care, he is left to fend for himself in an often hostile world," Lovett explained. "It is beautifully told by Beckett with his expert balancing of the tragic and the comic. While it works on many levels, it is a compassionate and uplifting portrait of a man ultimately alone in this world, and so is something we can all relate to."
According to the Los Angeles Times, "One could hardly come up with a better human instrument to intone the sonorous waves of Beckett's blasphemous comic prose than Conor Lovett." And, the Sunday Times wrote, "His control is exquisite. Comedians would kill for such timing where every nuance is in focus and every word a gem."
Beckett's work is both rewarding and compelling to Lovett.
"I feel Beckett's work is truly unique in the breadth of themes and the scope of its reach," Lovett said. "I think Beckett ranks with the great artists of the last several centuries - Picasso, Mozart, Beethoven, Bob Dylan. It's impossible to describe their work in a few lines and yet their appeal is huge.
"They have gone through different phases in their body of work and have always retained a simple vision to express their experience of life in ways that their audience can access easily while putting craftsmanship and mastery of their discipline at the forefront and continuously pushing the boundaries of form," he continued. "'The End' is from Beckett's middle period, sublime prose, entirely accessible yet possessing a strange, mysterious quality which even today, 60 years later, seems ahead of its time."
Lovett also has acted for the screen, appearing in Father Ted, Intermission, Moll Flander, L'Entente Cordiale and The Kings of Cork City, and co--producing and starring in Shut Eye.
Tickets to The End are $10 for general admission. Tickets for MCLA alumni are $8, $5 for staff and faculty, and members and students are free. For tickets, call 413-662-5204. For information and tickets, call 413-664-8718, or go to www.mcla.edu/presents .