Beckett is a difficult author. So, if you meet a stranger who asks you what Beckett is like, do not attempt to explain; you will only make a fool out of yourself. Instead refer him or her to this sixty minute radio play. It contains the very essence of Beckett. It has the silliness with the plethora of animal noises and other background sound effects. It has the puns and plays on words (“It is suicide to be abroad.”), descending into base vulgarity at the drop of a hat. It has jaunty dialogue, in the mouths of characters who have nothing to be jaunty about. It deals with old age, decay, infertility and death. And it contains an unfathomable mystery that the author would die rather than clarify. So if this little gem does not put off your stranger, then he or she needs a double dose of Endgame and Krapp while being bashed on the side of the head with a battered copy of the Molloy trilogy. Serve them right.
I saw this performed brilliantly with Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon but I still missed some of the dialogue. It's very funny but changes into seriousness toward the end. Not at all spare or repetitive.