Lisa Dwan: ‘Beckett made these wounds universal’

A wonderful interview from The Guardian, with Irish actress, Lisa Dwan,

As her new play No’s Knife, adapted from a number of Samuel Beckett’s prose pieces, opens at the Old Vic, Lisa Dwan talks to Belinda McKeon about the danger of politicising work for your own ends

Lisa Dwan No’s Knife
Lisa Dwan in No’s Knife at the Old Vic.

I electrocuted myself last night,” Lisa Dwan says. She’s laughing, so I laugh too, thinking it’s a metaphor for one of Dwan’s famously self-punishing techniques – this is an actor, after all, who tied her own head to a banister while giving one of her acclaimed one-woman Beckett plays an early run-through at home. She has bled on stages around the world, such were the physical demands of her blindfolded, harnessed version of Beckett’s Not I, which she retired earlier this year. Now she’s preparing for the Old Vic’s world premiere of her newest Beckett work, No’s Knife, adapted by Dwan from his prose pieces Texts for Nothing, and the rehearsal process, she says, has been gruelling. But the electrocution was accidental, and decidedly non-metaphorical; a power surge in her London flat – thanks to a building site across the street – and a trip to the hospital. “When I complained to the builders,” she says, “they thought I was a blonde actress and told me to change the bulbs.”

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