From the very first moment that I started making theatre, I knew that I wanted one day to direct Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s last tape. I first read the play whilst at University in London, and I had encountered Beckett’s writing a year or so before that when my father gave me a copy of his novel Murphy to read as a teenager. At that time, I saw the play as an incredibly precise Vaudeville routine, with the decaying Krapp as a bitter old clown obsessively reliving the lost love of his youth. I was startled by the emotional note that the play seemed to strike, somewhere between the melancholy for a time past, and a comically stoic endurance of old age. As my own years passed, I realised that I had not yet found the actor who would become my Krapp. From time to time I would try to imagine a certain actor I knew in the role, but I could think of no one who embodied both the physical precision and the mischievousness which I associated with the character. And then one day I discovered the theatre of Omar Porras, and more specifically the actor Omar Porras. Omar’s theatrical vision, both as actor and director, is anchored in an almost balletic and certainly absurd exactness of the body, which traces it’s lineage back to some of the great clowns of days gone by. I think he most puts me in mind of Max Wall, the English comedian and music hall performer who himself performed Krapp in the 1980’s. Living in South East London as a young man, I used to see the elderly Wall walking the streets of Blackheath or sitting drinking in the pubs there. I never saw his performance of Krapp, but used to imagine him with his distinctive walk disappearing upstage to open a bottle or slipping on a banana skin. Now, when I look at Omar Porras I like to imagine the same thing.
Dan Jemmet, Paris 2016