ED2013 News ED2013 Theatre

Gambon and Egan to appear in EIF’s Beckett season

By | Published on Thursday 13 June 2013

Michael Gambon

The Edinburgh International Festival this week confirmed that Michael Gambon and Peter Egan will both appear at this year’s festival as part of a Samuel Beckett strand, both shows presented by Gate Theatre Dublin.

The marvellous Gambon, perhaps best known for his roles in ‘The Singing Detective’ or the Harry Potter films, depending on your age, will reprise his performance of ‘Eh Joe’, a theatrical adaptation of what was Beckett’s first script for television. Gambon (pictured in another of his Beckett roles) first performed the role of Joe at the Gate Theatre in 2006, with Penelope Wilton providing the voice, a combination which will be repeated in the EIF production. Egan, meanwhile, will perform ‘First Love’, a Beckett novella brought to the stage by Gate Artistic Director Michael Colgan.

The two shows are part of a Beckett-themed strand that will take place towards the end of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, presented in association with the Gate Theatre and Pan Pan Theatre. All the performances in the strand will see stories and scripts Beckett wrote for radio, TV or as novels brought to life on stage.

Commenting on the programme, Colgan told ThreeWeeks: “Being guests at the Edinburgh International Festival, performing Beckett works rarely seen, being partners with Pan Pan and spending time with Jonathan Mills is as good as it gets. The Gate is excited to be coming, for the fifth time, to the festival of festivals”.

Meanwhile EIF Director Jonathan Mills added: “Michael Gambon and Peter Egan are both wonderful actors and will bring Festival audiences a very special experience in Edinburgh this August. We look forward to welcoming them. There are still some tickets available to our Beckett At The Festival season, so get online or on the phone and snap them up while you can”.

The Beckett season is just one strand of a particularly eclectic edition of the EIF, the programmed arts festival at the heart of Edinburgh’s festival month. Other theatre highlights include a new promenade production from Edinburgh Festival favourites Grid Iron called ‘Leaving Planet Earth’, the cinematic stylings of Chilean theatre company Teatrocinema with ‘Histoire d’amour’, and an exciting production from New York’s Wooster Group which mixes original footage filmed in 1964 when John Gielgud directed Richard Burton in ‘Hamlet’ in NYC with new live performance.

The Edinburgh International Festival runs from 9 Aug – 1 Sep this year, and is Mills’ penultimate programme, he having announced he will stand down after Festival 2014, with Fergus Linehan, who has led festivals in both Dublin and Sydney, due to take over in 2015.