Theater: Triste Couple

MERCIER AND GAMIER

Adapted by Frederick Neumann from a novel by Samuel Beckett

Heart transplants often fail. The body genetically rejects alien tissue. Similarly, most transplants of novels to the stage are doomed to failure. All authentic art forms possess an inviolable organ ic integrity. None functions properly as an interchangeable part.

Written as a novel in 1946, Beckett's Mercier and Camier is stillborn in its transition to drama at Joseph Papp's Green wich Village Public Theater. One can understand what impelled Adapter Neumann's strenuous and occasionally imaginative effort, since the book was, essentially, Waiting for Godot in its earliest and distinctly embryonic state....

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