Royal Lyceum Theatre four stars It may last no longer than your average TV sit-com, but Samuel Beckett's close-up miniature remains as remarkable in Atom Egoyan's production for Dublin's Gate Theatre as it did when first broadcast on the small screen back in 1966. Michael Gambon's old man stands alone in his bedroom, methodically drawing the curtains across windows and doors, as if cocooning himself from the world outside. Then, sitting on the bed, his face projected onto the gauze curtain that frames the stage, the voices start. Or rather, just the one, that of a disembodied woman from his past who calmly torments him with prodding little litanies of mistreatment of other women that has led to his solitary state. As the words, dreamily intoned by Penelope Wilton, sink in, their full effect looms large on Gambon's face, heavy-lidded, moist-eyed and haunted by regret, self-loathing and lovelessness. Egoyan's cinematic approach lends the play all the warts and all internal ennui so prevalent in his early film-work. To see Gambon so emotionally exposed as his hang-dog features react to Wilton's monologue is a beguilingly troubling insight into the mind of a man alone.
The Herald, August 2013