by Joyce McMillan, 11th August 2014

    As she moves on to the stage to begin her astounding solo performance of RiverRun, the great Irish actress Olwen Fouéré looks a little like one of those ancient, timeless figures from Samuel Beckett’s late fragments of theatre; the mane of grey-white hair pulled back from the face, the clothes dark, the gender immaterial, or perhaps long gone.

    And it seems to me that it’s not an accidental resemblance; for in this mighty dramatisation of the last chapter of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, which she adapted, co-directed and performs, Fouéré is pushing towards the experimental limit of Joyce’s work, the point where his sentences soar and fragment into completely new invented languages of sound and meaning, and where his rushing poetic vision of inevitable dissolution takes him closest to the space, on the very brink of oblivion, where his successor Beckett pitches his finest drama.

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