Kateland Dittig

Equinox Staff


After 90 minutes of a one-man act involving a straight monologue, actor Connor Lovett made a strong statement about the world we live in today without the help of the theatrical bells and whistles.

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011, Gare St. Lazare Players Ireland presented Samuel Beckett’s story, “The End.”  Ireland’s most traveled theatre company interpreted the compelling story at the Redfern Arts Center.

The story itself is a simple narrative about an elderly man explaining his situation of being kicked out of a hospital with only the clothes on his back and some spare change in his pockets.

The nameless character has been thrown out into the street and is trying to find his place in the world.

He talks about his encounters and the way he has dealt with certain issues as well as people without judging a single soul.

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The individual does not have a home or any concrete relationships, but he is not asking for anyone to pity him, even though he needs help.

Keene local Paul Fagley, 60, said that he really enjoyed the speech and how Connor Lovett took the audience on a journey by his presentation.

Fagley said, “The way Connor got into his character and the story he had to tell was really a fascinating depiction of old age.”

“He was able to display an incredible sense of humanity in light and in terms of the travesties and degradation as he aged in the whole process,” he continued.

Director Judy Hegarty Lovett praised, “Connor is a brilliant actor, people are very fortunate to be receiving a production with an actor who is genuinely a mediator for Beckett’s writing.”

Spectator Julia Tadlock agreed, “It was really well acted. The story was really alive; Connor was very vibrant on stage, which is a feat for being up there for an hour-and-a-half.”

Many were mesmerized by how someone could be on stage for such a long period of time without missing a scene or forgetting a single word.

When asked how he accomplishes such a task, he chuckled. He told the audience that it is his job and he is merely working.

He said that he learns the lines then tells the story as if it were his own. He becomes one with the character and tries to be as sincere as possible so it seems real.

Lovett said, “It’s a great joy for me to share this work. I really felt the audience was with me. It is a piece where as an audience member you do have to work and invest a little. The work we do relies so much on allowing the audience to use their imagination and when we tell the story we try to keep it simple, but try to keep it alive so people can picture it.”

Viewers are challenged to figure out what is going on and comprehend the plot and theme.

Junior Jessica Desclos said, “It was hard to follow at first, but once you realize what is going on, it was interesting to see where the monologue was going.”

The original writer, Beckett, uses a certain structure and meticulous language to communicate the story.

Reading the play is never the same experience as when you actually see it live.

Along with folks from all around the region, an entire Keene State College English and literature analysis class attended.

Professor William Stroup was impacted immensely.

Stroup said, “It made me feel humbled about how often I tell my students to read slowly. The pacing and the pauses that Connor Lovett made a part of the performance were a real instruction on how to read slowly and appreciate the humor and allow yourself to feel one sentence before moving onto the next one.”

“The End” was actually read in this particular class.

Stroup commented, “When I first read the story, it seemed to be relentlessly bleak to me, which it is, but there is humor and dignity that Connor points out. For everything that he is going through he never turns to self-pity and he carries on because in a sense he has to.”

Stroup admitted that if he had seen this performance before the discussion in class, the lecture about Beckett’s work would have gone much differently.

The story does bring up some mature issues.

Graphic descriptions of what living on the streets is really like painting a clear picture. Some topics had the ability to make the audience uncomfortable, but it seemed necessary to enhance the sad reality of being homeless and of the struggles in this world.

What made the message even stronger was that there wasn’t a lot of action. There were no props, fancy costumes, flashy lights, or music, just a single man on a stage.


Kateland Dittig                         can be contacted at                         kdittig@ksc.                                    mailcruiser.com

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