Monday, September 20, 1999

“In the past, people have had a different view of Beckett,” says Mick Lally of the writer in whose play Happy Days he is currently appearing. “They used to think he was very bleak and depressing. But he is a much funnier writer than he’s been seen, or at least, a funnier writer than he’s been performed. If there is a blackness and a bleakness, a lot of the time Beckett is satirising it.”

The first time Lally saw Godot performed was in Galway, by a touring group from Maynooth that gave a misleading impression of the playwright,” says Lally. “It was a very gloomy, serious production,” says Lally. “A while after that I saw the same play performed in Irish at the Taidhbheach and I realised after a while I was sitting there giggling at it.”

Now, Lally is involved in a production at Tallaght’s Civic Theatre that emphasises Beckett’s comic side. “For the character I play what’s funny mostly is the timing of what he does, the little interjections. To be funny, he has to do things at precisely the right moment.”

But even if the Glenroe star sees him as a comic writer, the actor’s commitment to Beckett remains deadly serious. “I played Pozzo in the Druid’s version of Waiting for Godot and the character is supposed to be bald -- even though we can only see that for one moment when he lifts his hat off. I shaved my head just for that, to make sure the moment looked just right