Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: Hell Hole Honeys
Next story: The Learned Ladies


Adapted by brothers Vincent and Chris O’Neill, and directed by Vincent O’Neill, the estate of Irish playwright Samuel Beckett has granted exclusive rights for a revival of the 1990 production of Endwords.

Seeing Chris O’Neill perform the piece in New York many years ago was a particularly happy memory from a lifetime of theater-going for me, and for many others, too, I would expect. Locally, it was performed at the old Franklin Street Theatre (now the Buffalo Chop House). This might put a great deal of pressure on actor David Oliver, who will perform the piece in its current incarnation at the Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle. In addition to his own talent, Mr. Oliver can take comfort in the fact that Chris O’Neill’s remarkable performance was so long ago that most of the potential audience probably did not see it.

Endwords pulls material from Beckett’s plays and novels, and uses the tramp figure, so recognizable in his work, to construct a new narrative. This “tenacious wanderer” wrestles with the meaning of his life, through comical experiences and insightful observations, as “he revisits his past and finds a sort of peace in his future.”

Permission to create and perform this Beckett compilation was originally granted to the O’Neill brothers by Barney Rosset, creator of the Evergreen Review, which established its reputation by publishing the Beat writers of the 1950s. Rosset owned Grove Press, which published not only Samuel Beckett but Jean Genet, Harold Pinter, and Eugene Ionesco. A champion for new and innovative work, Rosset’s legal battles included the right to publish the uncensored version of D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer in the United States.

Endwords continues through May 16.