Saturday: 12 noon to 6pm & Sunday 12 noon to 6pm
The Samuel Beckett Laboratory is a space for fundamental research into the works of Samuel Beckett in performance, hosted each summer by the Samuel Beckett Summer School. In this special interdisciplinary event in partnership with the Science Gallery, we invite anyone interested in Beckett's works — especially his late prose piece Worstward Ho and the idea of "failure" as it developed across the manuscripts — to join an ensemble of students, scholars, performers, directors, designers, and technicians to experiment with problems, processes, and philosophies in the practice of Beckettian performance. In this approach facilitated by Jonathan Heron (Warwick University) and Nicholas Johnson (TCD), performance is viewed not only as an end in itself, but is also used as a research method. The textual focus of the Laboratory is not limited to Beckett’s plays, but also extends to a variety of Beckettian voices, voids, fragments, and fizzles, to discover what occurs when these are embodied in a specific time and space. Interest in performance as a praxis is the sole prerequisite; this laboratory is absolutely open to non-professionals.
Jonathan Heron is the Artistic Director of Fail Better Productions and IATL Teaching Fellow at the University of Warwick. His recent work as a theatre director has included Diary of a Madman/Discords(Warwick Arts Centre), The Nativity (Pegasus Oxford), Stasis: Beckett Shorts (Oxford Playhouse) and Play without a Title (Belgrade Coventry). Jonathan is a co-author of Open-space Learning: A Study in Transdisciplinary Pedagogy (Bloomsbury, 2011) and a contributor to Performing Early Modern Drama Today (CUP, 2012). He is co-editing a special edition of the Journal of Beckett Studies (23.1, 2014) with Nicholas Johnson, with whom he also co-facilitates the Samuel Beckett Laboratory. He is a founding member of the AHRC Beckett and Brain Science working group and an active participant of the IFTR Performance-as-Research working group.
Nicholas Johnson is Assistant Professor in Drama at TCD, as well as a performer, director, and writer. Recent practice-based research projects on Beckett include Abstract Machines: The TelevisualBeckett (ATRL, 2010); and Three Dialogues (ATRL, 2011). In 2012 he directed Ethica: Four Shorts by Samuel Beckett, presenting Play, Come and Go, Catastrophe, and What Where in Bulgaria and in Dublin; in 2013 Ethica played at the Enniskillen Festival and at Áras an Uachtairáin for World Human Rights Day. He has contributed to The Plays of Samuel Beckett (Methuen, 2013) as well as Theatre Research International and Forum Modernes Theater, and is co-editing a forthcoming Journal of Beckett Studies special issue on performance with Jonathan Heron. He is artistic director of Painted Filly Theatre and co-founder/co-director of the Samuel Beckett Summer School.