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Footfalls


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A: Samuel Beckett Pf: 1976, London Pb: 1976 G: Drama in 1 act S: Narrow strip downstage, indeterminate period C: 2fMay is pacing, as ever, with great regularity to and fro along her strip. She calls her mother, whose voice only is heard from the dark upstage. May asks solicitously whether her mother needs anything, injection, bedpan, etc., but to everything the mother says it is too soon. May tells her mother she is 90, while May is dismayed to be reminded that she is still only 40. The mother tells how May from her childhood never left the house but just paced to and fro listening to her footfalls. May reveals that she sometimes went to the church to pace up and down. She then tells the story of Mrs Winter, who believed she saw something strange during evensong, but her daughter Amy saw nothing, since, to Mrs Winter's disbelief, Amy claims she was not there. May wonders if she will ever cease ‘revolving it all.’

A: Samuel Beckett Pf: 1976, London Pb: 1976 G: Drama in 1 act S: Narrow strip downstage, indeterminate period C: 2f

In this brief and powerfully atmospheric piece, Beckett rehearses a favourite topic, the curse of being born and the desire to leave life as soon as is possible. Meanwhile, there is no escape from the drudgery of ceaseless pacing.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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