Graduate Theatre Company Performs Beckett Play at Áras an Uachtaráin

Posted on: 12 December 2013

Sugarglass Theatre, a Trinity College Dublin graduate theatre company, performed Samuel Beckett’s Ethica at Áras an Uachtaráin as part of International Human Rights Day celebrations on Tuesday, December 10th, 2013.

Ethica, four short plays by Trinity graduate Samuel Beckett, was presented by Sugarglass Theatre at Áras an Uachtaráin to an audience of over 100 representatives of Ireland’s and Northern Ireland’s human rights and NGO sectors, as part of Ireland’s marking of International Human Rights Day.  Members of the Higgins family were also in attendance.

Grouped under the collective title Ethica, the four plays are a detailed examination of ethics in both the domestic and political sphere. The plays – Play (1964), Come and Go (1965), Catastrophe (1979), and What Where (1983) – all explore timeless questions of fidelity, justice and resistance.

Formed in 2012, Sugarglass Theatre is a Trinity graduate theatre company made up of four professional theatre-makers, all of whom met in the Samuel Beckett Centre in Trinity. The company was supported by the School of Drama, Film, and Music, the Provost’s Fund for the Visual and Performing Arts, and the Trinity Association and Trust.

Ethica is co-directed by Dr Nicholas Johnson, Assistant Professor in Drama Studies, and Marc Atkinson, graduate of Trinity’s School of Drama, Film and Music. Cast members are Peter Corboy, Ellen Flynn, Nichola MacEvilly, Matthew Malone, Maeve O’Mahony, Ellen Patterson ­- five of whom are current or past students of Trinity.

Originally created for Beckett cultural outreach events in Sofia, Bulgaria on behalf of the Embassy of Ireland, Ethica was performed in 2012 in the National Academy of Theatre and Film in Sofia, as well as in two different runs in the Samuel Beckett Theatre at Trinity. The production was staged in earlier 2013 at the “Happy Days” Enniskillen International Samuel Beckett Festival.

Speaking about the performance, Dr Nicholas Johnson, Assistant Professor in Drama Studies in Trinity, commented: “A fitting choice for International Human Rights Day celebrations, Ethica offers a sustained and intense meditation on both human nature and human rights – not in order to accuse specific states or leaders who control or torment others, but rather in order to question the fundamental mechanisms of language and ideology that sustain and justify such violence.”

“It is a profound honour to present Beckett’s work at Áras an Uachtaráin. Since its creation, this project has shown how Beckett’s work can bring people together, and how international artistic and cultural partnerships between professional artists, universities, and governments can be so beneficial.”

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