Wandering through YouTube the other day I was delighted to discover that someone has uploaded a vast majority of the Beckett on TV series, so expect semi-regular postings from now on. No, YouTube isn't an ideal medium for experiencing the plays of Samuel Beckett, but I daresay it's slightly better than not experiencing them at all. Similarly, the whole question of adapting works that were so definitively for theatre straight to television is an interesting one.
The late Anthony Mingella's Play, starring Kristen Scott-Thomas, Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson, is a case in point. Watching this gives only half a sense of the original. Gone are the interogating lights, replacing by slick camera work, and gone is the black room, replaced by a wasteland in hell offering the implication of an infinite number of figures in their jars condemned to repeat their arguments for eternity. It is quite amusing to note that this version has been uploaded in two parts, allowing viewers, should they so choose, to just "repeat Play" over and over again...
(The full text for Play can be found here)