Beckett and Pinter

At London’s Royal Court Theatre in October 2006, Harold Pinter performed the only role in Samuel Beckett’s play Krapp’s Last Tape. In the play, an old man observes his birthday the same way he has for years. He listens to some audio recordings he made on previous birthdays and then creates a new one.

As a playwright, Pinter had been deeply influenced by Beckett. He took on this role despite numerous challenges. In 2006, Pinter had been struggling for years with esophageal cancer. He died in 2008. The original script does not call for Krapp to use a wheelchair, but Pinter needed one for this performance.

The BBC made a film version of the Royal Court production, which is unavailable in most of the world. You can see it below. An interview with Pinter precedes the play. The play starts at 7:40.

The video quality is not good. Also, while there are Spanish subtitles if you need them, you can’t turn them off if you don’t need them.

Even so, it is astonishing.