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Beckett in Folkestone

Beckett in Folkestone

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(Left-right, Russell Tovey, Jade Anouka, Dame Harriet Walter, Rupert Thomson, Helen Oyeyemi, Eimear McBride)

This event has a running time of approximately 60 minutes starting at the William Harvey Statue, The Leas, Clifton Gardens, Folkestone CT20 2EA. Once you have booked your ticket and received a confirmation email for your purchase, a member of our team will be in touch with more details.

In March 1961 the author of Waiting for Godot (1955) Samuel Beckett (aged 55) mysteriously booked a room for two weeks at the Hotel Bristol on the Upper Leas in Folkestone under his middle name, Barclay Beckett. Beckett was keen that his Folkestone marriage to his long time partner Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil remain a secret and so during his stay he was deliberately stealthy for fear of being recognised.

To mark the 60th anniversary year of Beckett’s wedding in all its intrigue, The Shape of Things to Come festival has commissioned an indoor-outdoor promenade event which audience members experience one at a time. This includes three short five-minute fictional monologues specially written by acclaimed writers, Helen Oyeyemi, Rupert Thomson and Eimear McBride in which they portray three Folkestone residents who observed (or nearly observed in one case) Beckett during his stay - a receptionist at the Hotel Bristol where he stayed, a local journalist for the Daily Express who believed he’d discovered about Beckett’s marriage in advance, and a witness, possibly invited from off the street, to the wedding at Folkestone Registry Office.

The monologues will be presented as short films in each location performed by an all star cast. The actors performing the monologues will be Jade Anouka, Russell Tovey and Dame Harriet Walter.

Each audience member walks through the same streets as Beckett, stopping at three venues to watch the three monologues. As they walk they will listen on headphones to three Beckett life sketches that touch on three works gestating in his mind at the time: his marriage play Happy Days, his adultery play Play (featuring two Kent place names at a critical juncture) and his film Film steeped in paranoia and in the fear of being perceived.

This is a dual event, for a limited live audience in Folkestone and as a specially commissioned film for a world-wide digital audience. The film will seek to allow the digital audience an equal, if different, experience of this curation.

Age recommendation 18+

The Shape of Things to Come, the forward-looking Creative Folkestone Book Festival, is back. After a year away, for reasons that need no explanation, the festival will take place across Folkestone and online from Friday 4 to Sunday 13 June 2021.

This year the festival will be presented online and in-person wherever possible and in line with the latest government guidance. You can find more information about the festival here.

Creative Folkestone Book Festival is made possible thanks to the generous support of our funders and partners. We are proud to welcome the return of NewsNow as our Principal Partner for the Creative Folkestone Book Festival.


United Kingdom

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In Person £10 / £9

Sorry, this event has sold out

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