Beckett: Seeing Red on Stage

The major winner at the Tony Awards this year was Red, a biographical play about abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko, with six wins including the award for best play. The action surrounds Rothko’s commission for paintings to be hung in the Four Seasons restaurant in New York. While Rothko did complete the paintings he ultimately refused to hand over the works after taking exception to how pretentious the restaurant was. He returned the commission money, derided the restaurant, and the paintings are instead on display in various other galleries. Recently the Four Seasons got in contact with the Red production team and requested for some of the paintings created during the show’s performances to be displayed in the restaurant. The request was denied to the bewilderment of the restaurant. A spokesperson from representatives of the Rothko estate thought it would be quite bizarre when “an almost-completed-but-fake painting is hung in the place where the artist decided he was not going to let the real painting hang.”

Another artist whose wishes have been respected from beyond the grave, though with much greater determination, is playwright Samuel Beckett. Continue reading “Beckett: Seeing Red on Stage”

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