This mime was written originally in French as 'Acte sans paroles II' in 1956. Beckett's English translation of the work was first published in 'New Departures', Vol. 1, Summer 1959.
The première was staged in late 1959 at the Clarendon Press Institute, Oxford, moving to London's Institute of Contemporary Arts on 25 January 1960.
The text was first published in 1957 by Les Editions de minuit, Paris. The English translation was published by the Grove Press, New York, in 1960.
'Beckett was so concerned with form that I think he would have employed the mechanics of film in the same inventive way that he employed lighting and the stage itself - as presences, even characters in the drama. That's what I wanted to try and do myself,' says Enda Hughes, director of 'Act Without Words II'.
As a director and writer, Enda Hughes's film credits include: 'The Eliminator' (1996); 'Flying Saucer Rock & Roll' (1997), an award-winning short film (Best Fantasy Short - San Sebastian; Best European Short Film - Brussels); and 'Comm-Raid on the Potemkin', a 3-minute film for Planet Wild and Channel 4.
Pat Kinevane, who plays 'A', has also performed in 'Not I' and 'What Where' at the 1999 Beckett Festival at the Barbican Centre in London. His film work includes Paula Bergin's 'The Countess Cathleen', Peter Hayes' 'Run of the Country', John Boorman's 'I Once had a Life' and Jim McBride's 'Johnny Loves Suzy'.
The theatre work of Marcello Magni, who plays 'B', includes 'Honest Whores' (Shakespeare's Globe); 'King Lear' (Leicester Haymarket, the Young Vic and in Tokyo); and 'Mother Courage' (No. 1 Tour, the New Ambassador and the US Spoleo Festival). He is a founder member of Théâtre de Complicité, where his credits include 'The Winter's Tale'; 'The Visit'; and 'The Phantom Violin'. His film credits include 'Wet and Dry'; 'Brief Encounter' and 'Pinocchio'. He has also appeared in many television productions, including the BBC's 'Burning Ambition' and Channel 4's 'Peter and the Wolf' and 'Anything for a Quiet Life'.