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Encyclopedia > Act Without Words I

Act Without Words I is a short play by Samuel Beckett. It is a mime, Beckett's first (followed by Act Without Words II). Like many of Beckett's works, the play was originally written in French, being translated into English by Beckett himself. It was written in 1956 and first performed on April 3, 1957 at the Royal Court Theatre in London. On that occasion it followed a performance of Beckett's Endgame. The original music to accompany the performance was written by John Beckett, Samuel's cousin. A play is a common form of literature, usually consisting chiefly of dialog between characters, and usually intended for performance rather than reading. ... Samuel Beckett Samuel Barclay Beckett (April 13, 1906 – December 22, 1989) was an Irish playwright, novelist and poet. ... Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) is an Internet Standard for the format of e-mail. ... Act Without Words II is a short play by Samuel Beckett. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... April 3 is the 93rd day of the year (94th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 272 days remaining. ... 1957 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Royal Court Theatre is a non-commercial theatre in Sloane Square, in the Chelsea area of London noted for its contributions to modern theatre. ... St. ... Endgame is a one-act play for four characters by Samuel Beckett. ...

Contents


Synopsis

The action takes place in a desert illuminated by a "dazzling light". The cast consists of just one man, who is thrown on stage at the start of the play and is thrown back at each attempt he tries to make an exit. The main action is of the man trying to reach a small carafe of water, which is always just out of reach, suspended from the flies of the theatre. Cubes are lowered onto the stage, which he climbs upon to reach the water, but the carafe ascends so it remains slightly out of reach. Later, a knotted rope descends, which the man tries to climb up, but it is let out, and he ends up back on the ground. After much harrasment, he attempts to slash his throat with a pair of scissors that were lowered to him, only to find that they have just floated away with a cube. Eventually he seems to give up, and sits on one of the cubes. After a while, this is pulled up from beneath him, and he is left on the ground at the end of the play. Image File history File links A scene from Becketts Act Without Words I (from the Beckett on Film project). ... A dune in the Egyptian desert Desert in California In geography, a desert is a landscape form or region that receives little precipitation, less than 200 mm per year. ... Stage has several meanings: In rocketry, a stage is one of several independent rockets used to reduce the need for fuel. ... Water (from the Old English word wæter; c. ... Different types of scissors - sewing, kitchen, paper Scissors are a tool used for cutting thin material which requires little force. ...


Interpretation

Just as Beckett's Act Without Words II has been compared to the myth of Sisyphus, the man in Act Without Words I is often compared to Tantalus, who stood in a pool of water which receded every time he bent to drink it, and stood under a fruit tree which raised its branches everytime he reached for food. Act Without Words II is a short play by Samuel Beckett. ... For the computer game, see Myth (computer game). ... Sisyphus (also Sísyphos or Sisuphos), in Greek mythology, was the son of Aeolus and Enarete, husband of Merope, and King/Founder of Ephyra (Corinth). ... This article is about Tantalus from Greek mythology. ...


Beckett on Film

A filmed version of Act Without Words I was directed by Karel Reisz for the Beckett on Film project, and music was composed by Michael Nyman. Film refers to the celluloid media on which movies are printed Film is a term that encompasses motion pictures as individual projects, as well as the field in general. ... Karel Reisz (born 1926, Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, died London, United Kingdom, 2002) was a Jewish refugee who became one of the most important film-makers in post war Britain. ... Beckett on Film was a project to make film versions of all nineteen of Samuel Becketts plays for the stage with the exception of the early and unperformed Eleutheria. ... Michael Nyman (born March 23, 1944) is a British minimalist composer, pianist, librettist and musicologist, perhaps best known for the many scores he wrote during his lengthy collaboration with the British filmmaker Peter Greenaway. ...


External links


Samuel Beckett Act Without Words I Act Without Words II Breath Footfalls Happy Days Krapp's Last Tape The Plays of Samuel Beckett Not I Ohio Impromptu A Piece of Monologue Rockaby Rough for Theatre I Rough for Theatre II That Time Waiting for Godot What Where
Act Without Words I, Act Without Words II, Breath, Catastrophe, Come and Go, Eleutheria (posthumous), Endgame, Footfalls, Happy Days, Krapp's Last Tape, Not I, Ohio Impromptu, A Piece of Monologue, Play, Rockaby, Rough for Theatre I, Rough for Theatre II, That Time, Waiting for Godot, What Where

  Results from FactBites:
 
Act Without Words I - Education - Information - Educational Resources - Encyclopedia - Music (515 words)
Act Without Words I is a short play by Samuel Beckett.
Just as Beckett's Act Without Words II has been compared to the myth of Sisyphus, the man in Act Without Words I is often compared to Tantalus, who stood in a pool of water which receded every time he bent to drink it.
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Samuel Beckett - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4478 words)
What's more, since the second act is a subtly different reprise of the first, he has written a play in which nothing happens, twice." (Irish Times, 18 February 1956, p.
The words of Nell—one of the two characters in Endgame who are trapped in ashbins, from which they occasionally peek their heads to speak—can best summarize the themes of the plays of Beckett's middle period:
Beckett's final work, the 1988 poem "What is the Word", was written in bed in the nursing home where he spent the last days of his life.
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