Wednesday 20 September 2017

Beckett fans in for a treat as Gambon takes to the stage

Gate director Michael Colgan and David Kelly
Gate director Michael Colgan and David Kelly

Sophie Gorman

DESPITE hints of budgetary cuts for the arts community in the not-so distant future yesterday by Minister Mary Hanafin, there was no sign of impending doom and gloom at the Gate Theatre last night. Instead, it was all about the two Michaels -- Colgan and Gambon, that is.

Director of The Gate Michael Colgan was triple jobbing, as he hosted a particularly glittering gathering to formally unveil new additions to the Gate's art collection in the new wing before watching the opening curtain go up on a fresh production of Krapp's Last Tape that he both directed and produced.

Michael Gambon, meanwhile, found time to admire the art and reunite with old friends before transforming himself into the titular Krapp on the Gate stage in Samuel Beckett's classic play.

This is Gambon's third successive stage appearance at the Gate, following outstanding performances in productions of Harold Pinter's 'No Man's Land' and Samuel Beckett's 'Eh Joe'.

The three new art works on display are by Cian McLoughlin and Makiko Nakamura, which is fitting as both these artists acknowledge these works were inspired by Samuel Beckett.

The selection committee for the work was Ib Jorgensen, Dr Ronald Tallon and, wearing yet another hat, Michael Colgan.

Mr Colgan said: "I am so delighted that our new minister was our first choice, not because her department has been so supportive of the Gate, but because she has been a regular visitor to the theatre. She comes to every show in the Gate and has done for a long time. But what makes her truly unique is that she pays for all her tickets."

The launch was attended by an impressive array of faces, including Ardal O'Hanlon, Mary Finan, David Kelly, Conor McPherson, Trinity College provost John Hegarty, British Ambassador Julian King and Japanese Ambassador Toshina.

However, the most special attendees was surely Lady Antonia Fraser, widow of Sir Harold Pinter, who flew from London especially for the launch.

Lady Fraser has formed an enduring bond with the Gate Theatre and with Colgan in particular.

Irish Independent

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