Theatre Review: Watt

The art of storytelling isn’t one to be overlooked.

In an era of theatre, where audiences expect nothing short of explosive dramas, shocking twists, and a wide ensemble; a production where it’s just one man standing solitary on the stage for 50 minutes gives off the fear that one is about to be bored to death. In this instance, it’s quite the opposite.

Barry McGovern has been coined one of the world’s greatest interpreters of Samuel Beckett’s work – and his performance in the Project Art’s production of ‘Watt’ proves why. His presence on stage is nothing short of electrifying, with every move and twitch carefully orchestrated and pulsing with emotion. Beckett’s words are lifted from the page and take on a whole new life of its own. While the play isn’t a direct adaption of the book, it gives the audience a taste of a transitionary period in Beckett’s life, in between his youthful, Joyce-inspired days to his masterpieces in the 40’s and 50’s.

He tells the story of Watt, a man on his way to work at Mr Knott’s home. Painting a picture of the Irish country home, McGovern’s perfect diction and splendid use of body creates a whole vision for the audience, with minimal use of prop. It is aided by the exquisitely subtle lighting design (kudos to Sinead McKenna), casting shadows and light where needs be.

Having been directed by Tom Creed, the production has the audience hooked on every single word. With splendid wit and utter charm, the audience is completely putty in the hands of McGovern

Review by Kevin Worrall

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