By David F. Rooney
Happy and proud, director Robyn Abear and actor Peter Waters have returned from their week-long trip to the Liverpool International Theatre Festival where they not only learned a lot but impressed the judges to the point that Waters was named the runner-up in the Best Actor category.
“It was absolutely great,” Abear said in an interview Tuesday afternoon at Conversations Coffee House. “Everything was performed to a very high standard and the adjudication was first-rate.”
She and Waters were deeply impressed with the calibre of performance by the troupes from Italy, Algeria, Wales, the United States and other countries that attended. Their performance of Samuel Beckett’s one-act play, Krapp’s Last Tape, was the first performance by a BC theatre company at the international festival.
“The festival was held in a wonderfully charming old theatre that held about 200 people,” Waters said. “And it was packed every night.”
For the veteran local actor it was a moment to savour. The first time he performed Krapp’s Last Tape for the Revelstoke Theatre Company barely 13 people showed up to see it. About 60 came to see him reprise the role during a fund-raising performance at the United Church two weeks ago.
“It was, let me tell you, wonderful vindication to perform in front of 200 people,” he said.
His performance was obviously first rate. Krapp’s Last Tape was the first play performed at the festival and, by the end when the two adjudicators had seen more than dozen plays he was still named runner-up in the Best Actor category.
Abear and Waters were deeply impressed by the calibre of acting and the script writing.
“There are some really brilliant young playwrights out there,” Waters said. “The enormous talent of the young people at the festival is very heartening.”
Abear was also impressed and grateful to their billet hosts, David and Joan Chandler of Liverpool.
“We had a great time with them,” she said. “They were very charming and unbelievably hospitable.”
So were the organizers who presented each of the acting troupes that attended the festival with a beautiful sketch.
“I’m hoping we can eventually hang it at the new theatre,” Abear said.