Beckett centenary celebrations planned27/12/2005 - 10:14:07
Preparations are under way around the world to celebrate Nobel Prize-winning writer Samuel Beckett in 2006.
Dublin, London, Paris, New York and Tokyo will host events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth.
Arts Minister John O’Donoghue has allocated funding for staging plays, exhibitions, readings and musical performances.
A high-powered organising committee, chaired by Gate Theatre director Michael Colgan, will meet next week to co-ordinate events in Ireland.
Trinity College, where the writer studied and lectured, will run a week-long series of events around his birthday on April 13.
The Gate Theatre, which holds exclusive performance rights for Beckett’s work in Ireland and Britain, plans several productions.
Beckett, who wrote most of his major work in French, was born in Foxrock, Co Dublin, on April 13 1906.
He moved to Paris in the late 1930s where his most famous work Waiting for Godot was first performed in January 1953.
He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969.
Previous commemorations of Beckett were held in Dublin in 1981 and 1986 for his 75th and 80th birthdays.
The Gate Theatre has previously staged all 19 of his plays during two festivals in 1996 and 1999.
Gate director Mr Colgan said: “Beckett is an absolute giant of literature and it will be a pleasure to celebrate him.
“I hope events being planned will endear him to a whole new audience which will learn to appreciate the genius of his work.”
In October the Gate ran a festival of playwright Harold Pinter’s work to mark hs 75th birthday and just days later he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The Gate will run its programme of Beckett events in conjunction with the Barbican Theatre in London.
Other commemorations are planned in New York, Tokyo and Paris.
The Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris will host open-air performances of his plays during the summer and a Franco-Irish production in the autumn.
There will also be contemporary art and musical works inspired by Beckett, and a series of academic lectures and cinema adaptations.
French fans of Beckett lay flowers at his grave in Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris, on his birthday every year.
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