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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: May 2013

Blin on Beckett

from The Stage


tom bishop: Which of the plays of Samuel Beckett have you directed?

roger blin: All of his first plays, Godot in 1953 and Fin de partie [Endgame] in 1957. Then, later, I directed La Dernière Bande [Krapp's Last Tape]; Jean Vilar was the producer, when he was at the Recamier. It was with an actor called R. J. Chauffard, who was extremely good. Unfortunately, Beckett didn't like it very much—perhaps because he would have preferred me to play Krapp myself. I was probably too tired at the time to do it.…Then I directed Oh les beaux jours [Happy Days] with Barrault producing.

bishop: How did you first meet Sam? Was it to do Waiting for Godot?

blin: Well, we first met in 1948. He had recently finished writing Godot and had just sent off the play. His wife, Suzanne, was taking care of all this. At that time I was director at the Gaité Montparnasse. I'd just directed Strindberg's Ghost Sonata. Without knowing me at all, Beckett had been to see the play. In fact, he'd been twice. After that, he sent me his play Waiting for Godot, together with his first play, Eleuthéria, which I'm just about the only person to know.