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Beckett Night

Beckett 100 Theme Night, hosted by John Kelly
RTÉ Two, Saturday 15th April,
'Silence to Silence' 9.50pm,
'Beginning to End' 10.20pm.

RTÉ is delighted to host this special RTÉ Beckett 100 theme night. Programmes will include:

Silence to Silence, a documentary by Seán Ó Mórdha, featuring Billie Whitelaw, Jack MacGowran, Patrick Magee and David Warrilow. RTÉ is proud to be re-releasing Seán Ó Mórdha's acclaimed documentary Silence to Silence which, with Beckett's cooperation, traces his artistic life through his prose, plays and poetry, with contributions from Billie Whitelaw, Jack MacGowran, and Patrick Magee. "This loving film," said Philip French of The Observer, "is a discreet account of the relationship between a problematic life and a complex oeuvre. It eschews interviews and makes skilful use of evocatively filmed landscapes, still photographs and Beckett's texts, superbly read by David Warrilow. The basic outline of Beckett's career is definitively established, we're given an intriguing glimpse of the manuscript of Waiting for Godot, and the film insists that the humane, compassionate aspect of Beckett is as important as the ascetic, pessimistic side."  Filmed in Dublin, Paris and at Roussillon in the Vaucluse, and narrated by Tony Doyle, Ó Mórdha's acclaimed film won the documentary category at the Celtic Film Festival in Rennes, Brittany, in 1985.

MacGowran in 'Beginning to End'

Beginning to End, starring Jack MacGowran, devised in collaboration with Beckett, directed for RTÉ Television by Chloe Gibson. Also restored for the celebrations, Beginning to End features the peerless Jack MacGowran in his one-man show, devised with Beckett and recorded for RTÉ Television in 1966. "Jack's stage presence stays with me more than anything," said Peter O'Toole. "This frail thing with this enormous power. He walked a tightrope as if it were a three-lane highway." Martin Esslin, in The Theatre of the Absurd, commented on Beckett's deep affection for MacGowran: "If ever there was a perfect congruence between a great poet's imagination and an actor, this was it ... Jack MacGowran's individual quality and life story are an essential ingredient in our understanding of the life and work of one of the outstanding creative minds of our time." Beckett's cousin, Edward Beckett, played the flute for the TV production.  Directed by Chloe Gibson, Beginning to End features the superb camerawork of Tony Barry, who went on to direct Plunkett's Strumpet City.

Beckett on Film: Waiting for Godot, starring Johnny Murphy, Barry McGovern, Alan Stanford and Stephen Brennan, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg.