Quad, by Samuel Beckett, with music composed by Ethan Iverson, premiered in a Happy Days/Banff-commissioned world premiere production by the Mark Morris Dance Group.
The music amounts to a percussion piece performed by four musicians recruited locally. In terms of its style the music of Steve Reich sprung to mind in terms of rough navigation especially in the sharing of a certain affinity to repetition and ritual.
In terms of the instrumentation the use of blocks and tiny bells were most significant and ultimately the beating of a drum. Tintinnabulation was kept to a minimum yet unmistakable and yet in a certain section, a highlight, possibly delivered a few times, was significant in its effects. Mark Morris sat — his audience in the Regal were dotted about approximately in the round — cueing some of the trickier sections, mainly just watching, and the actors did their dance, a walk, a dash, a circling, according to the mathematics of Beckett’s script.
Quad is a play about subtraction and yet the multiplication of the scurry and near collisions of the actors within the strictness of the metre, time and above all silence was achieved in what was a highly stimulating performance enhanced by the score.
Beckett image spray painted on a shop in the Hollow, Enniskillen. Photo: marlbank.