Samuel Beckett and Disability Performance

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Beckett’s plays have attracted a striking range of disability performances – that is, performances that cast disabled actors, regardless of whether their roles are explicitly described as ‘disabled’ in the text. Grounded in the history of disability performance of Beckett’s work and a new theorising of Beckett’s treatment of the impaired body, Samuel Beckett and Disability Performance examines four contemporary disability performances of Beckett’s plays, staged in the UK and US, and brings the rich fields of Beckett studies and disability studies into mutually illuminating conversation. Pairing original interviews with the actors and directors involved in these productions alongside critical analysis underpinned by recent disability and performance theory, this book explores how these productions emphasise or rework previously undetected indicators of disability in Beckett’s work. More broadly, it reveals how Beckett’s theatre compulsively interrogates alternative embodiments, unexpected forms of agency, and the extraordinary social interdependency of the human body.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages229
ISBN (Electronic)9783031041334
ISBN (Print)9783031041327, 9783031041341
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2022

Publication series

NameNew Interpretations of Beckett in the Twenty-First Century
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2945-6797
ISSN (Electronic)2945-6800


  • Samuel Beckett
  • disability
  • disability performance
  • Waiting for Godot
  • Endgame
  • Not I
  • contemporary performance
  • impairment
  • embodiment
  • disability and performance theory


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