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Not I Beckett monologue set for Sky Arts broadcast

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Samuel Beckett’s groundbreaking monologue Not I is to be broadcast by Sky Arts to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its UK premiere.

It will star Lisa Dwan, who recently performed the work in just nine minutes – the fastest it has ever been delivered – at London’s Royal Court.

Sky Arts’ production marks only the third time in 40 years that permission has been granted for Not I to be filmed for UK broadcast.

Dwan’s performance will feature as part of a 60-minute documentary on Sky Arts that explores the significance of the piece, including contributions from Simon Callow, and theatre director Roger Michell. The programme will be narrated by Paul McGann.

Sky Arts channel director James Hunt described the broadcast as an opportunity to bring “Beckett’s haunting and coveted work to Sky Arts” and said viewers would relish “the chance to see Dwan perform Beckett’s landmark piece in the way he intended”.

Producer John Wyver said the monologue had been filmed in a single, nine-minute shot. “The play makes a powerful and remarkable piece of television,” he added.

Dwan performed Not I at Battersea Arts Centre in 2005, the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre in 2009 and at the International Festival of Beckett in 2012. She was coached to deliver the monologue by Billie Whitelaw, who first performed it in 1973 after Beckett mentored her.

The programme will also reveal Dwan’s rehearsal techniques for the piece – including practising blindfolded.

It will be broadcast on July 31 on Sky Arts 2.

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