If Patrick MaGee had read the labels off packets of detergent I’d have still listened to him all day.
But here he’s got the very best words in the very best order to say. In fact, Sam Beckett wrote these words, this play, especially for Pat’s “cracked voice”. What gravelly, dark, dangerous, despair he drags out of it.
The girl that Krapp remembers being in a punt with when he was a young man is repeated like a lament of longing. Here it is
“I asked her to look at me and after a few moments–(pause)–after a few moments she did, but the eyes just slits, because of the glare. I bent over her to get them in the shadow and they opened. (Pause. Low.) Let me in. (Pause.) We drifted in among the flags and stuck. The way they went down, sighing, before the stem! (Pause.) I lay down across her with my face in her breasts and my hand on her. We lay there without moving. But under us all moved, and moved us, gently, up and down, and from side to side”
And now you can lay back and let Pats voice take you right into the girl in the punt.
(Video: Ian Nisbet. Drawing: Hazel Brown)