20: Cascando

10 Apr

Thank heavens for a short play! It’s one of those days where I have too many things to fit in my diary and am running like the cliched headless chook to try to make it on time to each one.

Cascando by Samuel Beckett is a short radio play, written to be performed with music. It’s strange reading it without the music, trying to imagine what it might sound like when the script says:

Silence.

OPENER: I open the other.

MUSIC: ……………………………………………………………………….

OPENER (with MUSIC): And I close.

Silence.

I open both.

The voice and music then begin in tandem…

Cascando

The Opener chooses whether to open or close the music and the voice. When the voice talks, it (I don’t know whether it’s supposed to be male or female) describes a man falling down a slope and getting up again. The sentences are elliptical. Things like:

VOICE: down … gentle slope … boreen … giant aspens … wind in the boughs … faint sea … Woburn … same old coat … he goes on … stops … not a soul … not yet … night too bright … [etc.]

This is as absurd a piece as you’d expect from Beckett, but also open to many interpretations. For me it was a play about someone caught in a loop in their memory, perhaps institutionalised, reliving over and over again the same event. Woburn is constantly described, but never seen. He is the Godot of the piece, and the play is an attempt to disperse with the need for narrative and/or story.

The play begins with VOICE saying:  -story … if you could finish it … you could rest … you could sleep … not before … and finishes with VOICE and MUSIC together and the words: – this time … it’s right … finish … no more stories … sleep … we’re there … nearly … just a few more … don’t let go … Woburn … he clings on … come on … come on… come on –

Silence.

Publisher: Grove Press

Cast: 2 voices + music

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: