Writer: Samuel Beckett
Director: Sarah Jane Scaife
Reviewer: Ciara Murphy
Samuel Beckett’s lesser known prose piece Fizzles takes the stage at the Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival. Directed by Sarah Jane Scaife and presented by Company SJ as part of the wider series, ‘Beckett in the City’, Fizzles merges prose, theatre and multimedia in an enthralling performance.
Scaife states that Company SJ are working on “inserting Beckett’s writing into the architecture and social spaces of Dublin” (Programme note). As far as venues go, 14 Henrietta Street, tucked away in Dublin’s north inner city, is an exciting and abundantly historical choice for a performance space. Perhaps most infamously known for its tenement past, the dark, damaged, and haunting rooms lend their history to Beckett’s Fizzles creating the perfect performance space.
Consisting of three “fizzles”, the audience is moved from room to room during the short performance. Raymond Keane performs each piece accompanied by a voice-over of Beckett’s prose. A multimedia element is also present in the form of video projection, designed by Killian Waters, the videos use footage recorded at Dublin’s Pigeon House Generating Station. The mesh of different media works well in the intimate space, never over-crowding or overwhelming Keane’s minimalistic performance. The presence of video serves to deepen the space and enhances the performance.
Keane is fastidious and consistent in his rôle and the lighting design, by Paul Keogan, defines and develops the minutiae of his movements. Although small, Keane’s movements are physical, drawing attention to the neglected human body.
The focus of this performance of Fizzles is the body. Scaife incorporates Keane’s actions into the landscape of Dublin, creating a narrative for the space and for the prose delicately accompanying the action.
This is a show for Beckett enthusiasts and first-timers alike. Stepping into an older Dublin, Fizzles is an engaging and haunting performance.
Photo by Hazel Coonagh. Runs until September 17th.