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First Love

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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By reciting Beckett’s novella verbatim, Conor Lovett isn’t undertaking the easiest of tasks; even at his most conversational, Beckett can be an uphill struggle. But for those who steel themselves for the journey, First Love is immensely rewarding. This bleakly comic tale is a single monologue that meanders through the protagonist’s experiences of love and death. Beckett’s obsession with language makes pieces such as this a kind of anti-poetry, desolate yet fertile.

The success of the performance is down to Lovett’s excellent timing; he directs his considered verbosity to the audience, questioning and responding to them when the occasion arises. I can’t imagine Beckett being done more aptly; despite this – or perhaps, because of this - it’s pretty grim and dry. This piece is unlikely to convert people to Beckett; but those who have an affinity with his work will find this production thoroughly rewarding.

- Miranda Fay Thomas


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