Pictured: Linden Banks as Krapp. Photo provided by Seven Tyrants Theatre.
“Perhaps my best years are gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldn’t want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldn’t want them back.”
Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett explores the different people one can be in a single lifetime. Directed by David Thomas Newham, this production starring Linden Banks focuses on both stories, looking at how they interpret the “best moment” of their lives. Both 69-years old Krapp and 39-years old Krapp speak of youth, the past, what is supposed to be the best years of their lives, to be young, healthy and happy. However, this is all relative. To 69-years old Krapp, his youth is in the tape, in the 39 year old who met the love of his life- and wouldn’t trade anything for it. There is a moment in one’s life, though one never realizes it at the time, that is the climax, the peak- and we spend our entire lives striving for it or reminiscing it. Many believe this comes with youth, but that also is relative, to how we spend our time and how long we live, even.
The set and lighting by Newham is simple yet effective, and Banks’ performance as young Krapp is strikingly different from the man he portrays on stage. They work together to create one man at two different times, longing and striving for the same thing. The play was very Beckett-esque, with all the repetition but I particularly enjoyed the silence, where Krapp just got to “be” who he was, wolfing down bananas and sifting through old tapes.
Who is the person in your past, in recording or otherwise? Is it really you? Would you go back if you could?