Interview: Rosemary Pountney

The actor and scholar Rosemary Pountney was interviewed in Oxford by David Tucker on 30 August 2015 as part of the Staging Beckett project.

Download and read the transcript: Rosemary Pountney

Rosemary Pountney’s essay can also be found in the Research section of this website.

About Rosemary Pountney

Rosemary Pountney began her career in the theatre, later taking a degree in English at the University of Oxford, followed by a doctorate on Beckett’s later drama (subsequently published as Theatre of Shadows: Samuel Beckett’s Drama, 1956-1976; From All That Fall to Footfalls with commentaries on the latest plays (Gerard’s Cross: Colin Smythe, 1988). She began her academic career at University College Dublin, followed by a Senior Lectureship and Research Fellowship in Drama at the University of Winchester (1981-96) which she held in tandem with a Lectureship in English at Jesus College, Oxford (1984-2002).

She has written numerous articles on Beckett (published in journals such as Modern Drama, Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’Hui, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Journal Of Beckett Studies) and has reviewed widely, in particular for The Review of English Studies. She was a theatre critic for the Oxford Times throughout the 1970s.

While working on her Beckett thesis she began acting again and performed Not Iin 1976 at Oxford Playhouse and the Irish Premieres of Not Iand Footfallsat the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1978, followed by Footfalls at Oxford Playhouse in 1980, also performed at theatres in Dublin and the USA (Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio) in 1981.

In the 1990s she performed the Czech and Hungarian premieres of Footfalls and Rockaby in Prague and Szeged respectively and toured with Rockaby to the Schauspielhaus Dusseldorf, the Wallgraben Theatre Freiburg and Teater Neumarkt Zurich, as well as theatres in England and France. She also toured university theatres in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada in 1990, performing in and lecturing on Beckett’s drama. A further tour to New Zealand for the British Council in 1997 took her to nearly every university in the country. In 1999 she lectured on Modern Drama for the British Council at King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).

Rosemary Pountney knew Beckett, who helped her rehearse her role in Footfalls in1980. In 2012, she performed three of  his one woman plays at the Norwegian National Theatre and the Samuel Beckett Theatre in Dublin. She also gave readings of poetry and prose. She was a member of Equity and an Honorary Fellow of St. Anne’s College, Oxford.

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Staging Beckett team members, Matthew McFrederick and Professor Anna McMullan, alongside Walter Asmus and Dr Nick Johnson at the TCD Beckett Summer School. IMG_3277
Walter Asmus in conversation with Nick Johnson for the second Staging Beckett public talk at the Beckett Summer School, August 2014.
James Knowlson with Richard Wilson and the BBC Artsnight team at the University of Reading, July 2015.
Richard Wilson and James Knowlson during the filming of the BBC's upcoming Artsnight episode dedicated to Samuel Beckett, July 2015.
Lisa Dwan and Walter Asmus at the Royal Court, December 2013.
Lisa Dwan and Anna McMullan interview University of Reading, March 2018.
Samuel Beckett directing the San Quentin Drama Workshop actors Bud Thorpe and Rick Cluchey. (Photo by Chris Harris, David Gothard Collection.)
Billie Whitelaw's dress for Footfalls
Godot, Gare St Lazare, 2014.
Conor Lovett in Godot, Gare St Lazare, 2014.
Fizzles, 'Beckett in the City'. Photo courtesy of Company SJ., 2013.
Beckett observing rehearsals at the Riverside Studios. (Photo by Chris Harris, David Gothard Collection.)
Waiting for Godot at 60: An Exhibition, 2015.
Exhibition photo, 2014.
Exhibition photo, 2014.
Exhibition photo, 2014.
Staging Beckett conference at the University of Reading, 5 April 2014
Staging Beckett conference at the University of Reading, 5 April 2014
Staging Beckett conference at the University of Reading, 5 April 2014
Staging Beckett conference at the University of Reading, 5 April 2014
Staging Beckett conference at the University of Reading, 5 April 2014
Staging Beckett conference at the University of Reading, 5 April 2014
Staging Beckett conference at the University of Reading, 5 April 2014
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Staging Beckett team members, Matthew McFrederick and Professor Anna McMullan, alongside Walter Asmus and Dr Nick Johnson at the TCD Beckett Summer School. IMG_3277
Walter Asmus in conversation with Nick Johnson for the second Staging Beckett public talk at the Beckett Summer School, August 2014.
James Knowlson with Richard Wilson and the BBC Artsnight team at the University of Reading, July 2015.
Richard Wilson and James Knowlson during the filming of the BBC's upcoming Artsnight episode dedicated to Samuel Beckett, July 2015.
Lisa Dwan and Walter Asmus at the Royal Court, December 2013.
Lisa Dwan and Anna McMullan interview University of Reading, March 2018.
Samuel Beckett directing the San Quentin Drama Workshop actors Bud Thorpe and Rick Cluchey. (Photo by Chris Harris, David Gothard Collection.)
Billie Whitelaw's dress for Footfalls
Godot, Gare St Lazare, 2014.
Conor Lovett in Godot, Gare St Lazare, 2014.
Fizzles, 'Beckett in the City'. Photo courtesy of Company SJ., 2013.
Beckett observing rehearsals at the Riverside Studios. (Photo by Chris Harris, David Gothard Collection.)
Waiting for Godot at 60: An Exhibition, 2015.
Exhibition photo, 2014.
Exhibition photo, 2014.
Exhibition photo, 2014.
Staging Beckett conference at the University of Reading, 5 April 2014
Staging Beckett conference at the University of Reading, 5 April 2014
Staging Beckett conference at the University of Reading, 5 April 2014
Staging Beckett conference at the University of Reading, 5 April 2014
Staging Beckett conference at the University of Reading, 5 April 2014
Staging Beckett conference at the University of Reading, 5 April 2014
Staging Beckett conference at the University of Reading, 5 April 2014
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