Beckett Week 2016 was held between the 2nd and 5th November 2016 at the University of Reading. The following events took place:

  • The Billie Whitelaw Lecture
    Wednesday 2 November, 6pm, Minghella Building

    Acclaimed Beckett actor, Lisa Dwan, who has performed in Beckett's plays across the globe, spoke about performing in Beckett and about her mentor Billie Whitelaw, Beckett's favourite actor. Lisa met Billie when she was preparing for a production of Beckett's challenging play, Not I, and Billie passed her notes from Beckett on to Lisa. We were delighted to welcome Lisa Dwan back to Reading, following her virtuoso performance of a selection of Beckett's prose for performance entitled No's Knife at London's Old Vic Theatre.

    The lecture was followed by a Wine Reception and the Launch of the Billie Whitelaw Exhibition, which displayed for the first time items from Billie Whitelaw's Beckett Theatrical Collection, acquired by the Beckett International Foundation last year.



  • Beckett & Politics Conference 2016
    Thursday 3 - Friday 5 November, Minghella Building

    Organised by the Beckett at Reading Postgraduate and Early Careers Group (BARP), the emerging theme of 'Beckett and Politics' was discussed through panel topics ranging from capitalism and postcolonial Ireland to the politics of gender, sex and violence. Keynote lectures were given by Matthew Feldman (Teesside University), Elizabeth Barry (University of Warwick) and Daniela Caselli (University of Manchester).

    For more details about all the participating speakers and talks, please see this link.

  • The Gerald Finzi Memorial Lecture¬†
    Friday 4 November, 6.30pm, L022 Lecture Theatre, London Road Campus

    As part of the Reading Literature Festival 2016, critically acclaimed poet Alice Oswald delivered the Gerald Finzi Memorial Lecture and gave a reading of her poetry. This annual lecture was established in memory of the composer Gerald Finzi (1911-56), who lived in Newbury and had a close connection with Reading. His extensive collection of English literature is now held in the University's archive.

  • Mary Bryden Tribute Day
    Saturday 5 November, 12 - 7pm
    Minghella BuildingThis deeply moving tribute day was held in honour of the late, much loved Mary Bryden, Professor of French Studies at the University of Reading, and Co-Director of the Beckett International Foundation, who died a year ago. The day started with a lecture by Emeritus Professor Jim Knowlson on Beckett and Billie Whitelaw. In the afternoon, an academic panel reflected on aspects of Bryden's research in French Studies and Beckett Studies. This was followed by personal and musical tributes from her colleagues and friends, as well as readings from her own creative writing.A tribute to Mary Bryden can be read here.