‘I rip off my skin and give him the guts’ – Lisa Dwan on her approach to Beckett

‘I rip off my skin and give him the guts’ – Lisa Dwan on her approach to BeckettJune 10, 2021

The actor had a great lockdown: she learned to cook, took up cello – and fell in love. Now six months pregnant, Dwan’s about to be buried up to her neck in Happy Days. Is she worried?

Lisa Dwan is on Zoom in the back of a cab, her face glowing as she talks about the surprises of the past year. “I feel guilty saying this because I’m very aware of how much suffering there has been but lockdown is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I’m somebody who needed to be grounded, and I was grounded.”

In the run-up to last spring, Dwan was single and super-busy, shuttling between cities for work: Belfast for Jed Mercurio’s Bloodlands, London to film Colm Tóibín’s Pale Sister, New Jersey for her lecturing gigs at Princeton (she is a Samuel Beckett specialist, famously tutored by Billie Whitelaw). Then, she met a “kind, handsome man” called Paul, who was at Jermyn Street theatre in London on the same night as her to watch a trio of short Beckett plays, directed by Trevor Nunn. One of them, Eh Joe, featured a recorded monologue by Dwan.

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