After China, I am slowly re-entering London life, and I am delighted to highlight the premiere showing at 9.30pm tonight, Wednesday, on Sky Arts 2 HD of our new production Samuel Beckett: Not I. The 45-minute film features a new single-shot recording of Lisa Dwan’s remarkable performance of Beckett’s astonishing monologue. Written in 1972 and famously performed by Billie Whitelaw at the Royal Court Theatre in 1973, Not I in the theatre features simply a pair of lips seemingly floating some eight feet above an otherwise entirely dark stage.
Exceptional reviews (including Lyn Gardner’s 5-star rave for the Guardian) greeted Lisa Dwan’s performance of the work earlier this year at the Court, and it is a privilege to bring this to Sky Arts and a wider audience. The performance itself is preceded by a half-hour of contextual documentary with Lisa and with interview contributions from actor Simon Callow, stage and film director Roger Michell, Beckett biographer Professor James Knowlson and the critic and artist Derval Tubridy. Making the film has been something of an adventure, but it is thrilling to have produced only the third film version of Not I.