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THE ARTSEMERSON BLOG

What Did You Think of Here All Night?

Thank you for joining us for Gare St. Lazare Ireland’s production of Here All Night. This is third time the company has crossed the pond to join us in the Paramount Center. Each time they arrive they push our understanding of what they can accomplish. This mash up of prose by Beckett, installation art, and music creates a unique experience that stands out in our season for its innovative form.

What was your experience of the performance?

Did you see Waiting for Godot or Moby Dick?

What is your interpretation of the relationship between the text and the music?

How would you describe Here All Night to a friend?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

9 Comments

  1. LISBET TAYLOROctober 6, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Hi, I left after an hour. The musicians and actors were excellent. The substance, especially of the monologues, were a yawn, — Not the performance of them, but the Content! And the intro (1 note on the piano for several minutes) set me up to expect to be bored!

    I felt it was a waste of my time and not uplifting or engaging, as I have come to expect theatre to do, and left. Guess I’m not a fan of Beckett. I was also surprised, because ArtsEmerson has never disappointed prior to this! (Don’t worry, you are entitled to “bomb” a couple of times…!)
    Frankly, I’m on the A.R.T. bandwagon and used to being given theatre that recreates the reason for its impetus in the first place.

    Have never read nor attended Waiting for Godot. Didn’t understand the symbolism of the hanging cadaver. Aiii! ~Subscriber for years.

    Reply
  2. gail spilsburyOctober 7, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I found the production creative and learned more about it afterward reading online. I think the program notes could have offered the audience much more of an introduction.

    I think the theater has an acoustics problem–when the actor was not front stage it was hard to hear every word and I had excellent orchestra seats. (Last year I heard not one word of Lisa Dawn’s performance–same theater, orchestra seats).

    The musicians were excellent, and one violin solo/segment mesmerizing.

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  3. Paul MathewOctober 7, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Strange and beautiful and utterly compelling and totally incomprehensible and yet so true … it doesn’t matter

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  4. I found the production curious, intriguing and refreshing in its unpredictability. It took me to a place I’ve never been (and I still don’t know where that was), but I liked it. Thank you for a unique theater experience !

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  5. Somehow I managed to get an $18 ticket so I dashed over to Boston by myself after work to catch the opening performance. I was enthralled and wanted to share the experience with my husband on Saturday night. But that show was a struggle to sit through. Some people near us seemed to believe that raucous laughter is the only appropriate response to Beckett’s words, and they indulged in it without restraint or consideration of the actor or of the rest of the audience. Now Beckett is wickedly funny. I laughed too. But these people seemed to be engaging in their own perverse form of performance art, howling and guffawing almost every time Conor Lovett opened his mouth. (I had the impression that even he was a bit rattled by it in the earlier monologues.) I realize there’s nothing the management can–or would want to–do to restrain audience enthusiasm, but I hope that if any of last night’s “culprits” read this they’ll take it to heart.

    Having got that off my chest, I want to thank Arts Emerson for bringing productions like this to Boston. I hope we’ll soon be seeing more of Gare St. Lazare.

    One last small criticism: I’d have liked a little more preparation for the Brian O’Doherty exhibition–particularly some idea of the duration of each recording. I only listened to one and even that not fully because I caved to the pressure of the people standing behind me waiting their turns. But I suppose that’s just part of the experience.

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  6. I admit my culprithood. I certainly apologize for ruining your time. I take your comment and the entire evening to heart. It was one of the most beautiful and moving theatre experiences I have had any where. There was not a forced breath or false beat in the entire performance. The actors and musicians were selfless and stunning. The singing, the choreography and lighting were exquisite. The selection, the speaking and the singing of Beckett’s words has changed my relationship to Beckett profoundly. I can still hear and see the brilliant violin solo which seemed to enter into and explode out of Beckett’s prose. How was it possible? Thanks to all.

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    • After reading your sensitive and insightful review, PHW–which I agree with in every particular–I guess I owe you an apology. The world needs more people who can respond deeply to what we saw and heard last night. I’m glad that you savored it to the marrow.

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  7. Having been intrigued by the memorable Waiting for Godot which I’d read and seen in years past, I traveled from Philadelphia to see this show and visit my daughter at Emerson. I was disappointed in the show. I found it monotonous, not really a piece of theater but perhaps a piece of performance art itself, and like others in the audience, I had trouble understanding the words. I glanced at them on the program, but surprisingly, there were only a few programs available for the audience. The usher reluctantly handed me one of her last three and told me not to keep it but to pass it around. Most people did not have one. That seems like exceedingly poor planning. Seeing the lyrics would have been helpful to the members of the audience. The people in the middle of the auditorium who laughed at strange times almost seemed like they were planted there to be part of the production, but they seemed to lose steam over time, so I figured they weren’t.

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  8. We loved the performance — I have rarely heard Beckett’s lines spoken with more color, accuracy, and deep understanding. Beckett wrestles with elemental and fundamental apprehensions, feelings, experiences, and thoughts, and this performance made us understand the depth of his questions. The singing was haunting — I can still hear the title lines. We especially appreciated meeting the director and members of the company after the performance. Thanks for creating the space for an extraordinary experience.

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