Theatre producer Jake Murray discusses the life and work of Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, focusing in on the piece “Endgame” which was performed by Jake’s Elysium Theatre Company in an on-line performance the weekend of 5th/6th June 2021.
For more details on Jake’s Elysium Theatre Company read the section below taken from their website:
“The goal was to start with northern premieres, plays that had been seen all across the world – London, New York, Dublin etc – which had never been done in the north east or north west. Gradually we would work our way up to classics and new plays of our own.
All our shows would focus on great writing, poetic but gritty, emotional but real, with real focus on fantastic acting and big themes. We would develop creative relationships across the north, with a special focus on the north east, build an ensemble of actors who be at the core of our productions,
We started in 2017 with the Durham and Manchester premiere of Owen MacCafferty’s adaptation of J P Miller’s ‘Days Of Wine And Roses’. Starting at the Assembly Rooms, Durham, it transferred to 53two in Manchester. It got rave reviews in both cities, put us on the map and saw Danny Solomon nominated for Best Fringe Performance at the Manchester Theatre Awards.
We followed that with the northern premiere of American playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis’s powerful metaphysical prison drama ‘Jesus Hopped The A Train’. The first time this hard-hitting play had been seen outside London, this played at the Assembly Rooms, Durham before transferring to HOME, Manchester. Once again it got rave reviews in both cities.
Since then we have done a double bill of Samuel Beckett plays, ‘Footfalls’ and ‘Krapp’s Last Tape’ as part of the Durham Festival of Arts at the Assembly Rooms, and the north east premiere of Jez Butterworth’s ‘The River’, this time at the City Theatre, Durham and the studio space at Queen’s Hall, Hexham, where we sold out.
The following year we produced a Northumberland-set adaptation of August Strindberg’s ‘Miss Julie’, which reunited Alice Frankham and Danny Solomon in the leads. This started at Queen’s Hall, Hexham, who were our co-producers, and went on to play at the Gala, Durham, the Exchange, North Shields and the Majestic in Darlington, before a week’s run at Hope Mill in Manchester. We swept the board with fine reviews and won Best New Revival In The North East in the British Theatre Guide.
We finished 2019 with a north eastern premiere of Athol Fugard’s brilliant, intense drama of the end of Apartheid. This played all across the North East and in Manchester and got the best reviews and audience reaction we have had for any of our shows.
2020 saw Covid-19 hit. We moved online with a series of playreadings and workshops and, most excitingly of all, the Covid-19 Monologues, ten new one-person plays by new writers… For our first five we won an Olwen Wymark Award from the Writers Guild of Great Britain….
Its been quite a time since our humble beginnings in 2017. Onwards to the future and our post-Covid world!