Rose Theatre: Krapp's Last Tape brings back memories

Surrey Comet: Tom Owen as Krapp Tom Owen as Krapp

A tale retelling the life of a man through his own powerful monologues will come to life at the Rose Theatre next month.

Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape is a story about a man who records his own thoughts, life events and feelings on tape so that he can hold on to them and remember exactly what he was feeling all those many moons ago.

Following a successful stint at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012, this classic Beckett will be playing in Kingston for one night only and starring Tom Owen – best known as Tom, Son of Compo, from Last of the Summer Wine – as the titular Krapp.

Robert O’Dowd, chief executive at the Rose, said: “Samuel Beckett is one of the greatest playwrights of all time so we are delighted to be hosting Krapp’s Last Tape.

"It will be captivating to watch.”

The one-act play follows Krapp as he celebrates his 69th birthday by bringing out an old tape recorder containing the account of his 39th birthday, followed by a number of other birthdays that allow audiences into his changing mindset over the years.

We are drawn into his life events including the death of his mother, a moment of inspiration on a night of "howling wind”, his failed pursuit of intellectual fame through writing, the end of a significant relationship and all of his attempts to come to terms with the decisions he has made.

Fiona Baddeley will direct, and said her inspiration play came from Owen’s distinctive voice, which reminded her of Irish actor Patrick Magee, the first actor to play Krapp when the play opened at the Royal Court in London in 1958.

She said: “My inspiration for directing this monologue was that same quality in the voice of Tom Owen.”

Krapp’s Last Tape, Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston, Monday, January 13, 7.30pm, tickets £12/£9, call 08444 821556, visit


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