Theatre Tours International Ltd
Theatre Tours International Ltd
What's On NOW!
To: The Complete Lost Works
  • Discovered' by Greg Allen, Ben Schneider and Danny Thompson
  • Performed by Bill Coelius, Ben Schneider and Danny Thompson
  • Directed by John Clancy
  • European première: Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh Fringe 2002
  • National UK Tour 2003.
  • Riverside Studios London, March April 2003

Two of Chicago's experimental theatres, Theater Oobleck and the Neo-Futurists, provide the perfect antidote for the theatre-weary on the Fringe - as well as the longest title.

Beckett fans (and foes), and anyone looking for a wicked laugh at the expense of literature will beg to witness the inspired lunacy that is THE COMPLETE LOST WORKS... Chicago's near-legendary Theater Oobleck make their Edinburgh debut alongside the Neo-Futurists (TOO MUCH LIGHT MAKES THE BABY GO BLIND, Fringe First, 2000) with this Fringe NYC Award-winning show.

THE COMPLETE LOST WORKS... is comprised of seven 'recently unearthed' scripts, supposedly penned by the greatest playwright of the 20th century. These discovered works include Beckett's first ever dramatic piece: Happy Happy Bunny Visits Sad Sad Owl, written by seven year old Sam and presented in its original puppet staging, as well as his last effort, Foot Falls Flatly, apparently written posthumously.

The always irreverent, sometimes plagiarising, often libellous Theater Oobleck and the Neo-Futurists have been mainstays of Chicago's experimental theatre scene since 1988. THE COMPLETE LOST WORKS... is directed by John Clancy, multi award winning director of Americana Absurdum, Cincinatti, Horse Country and Goner.

In 2002, John Clancy and Guy Masterson presented THE COMPLETE LOST WORKS OF SAMUEL BECKETT at the Edinburgh Festival where it immediately sold out. In March 2003, it opened in London, in repertory with Horse Country, at the Riverside Studios for 6 weeks closely followed a full UK tour culminating with a presentation The Brighton Festival. In 2004 it toured to Australasia and Hong Kong - among other destinations.

"The fear before the festival was that The Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett As Found in an Envelope (Partially Burned) in a Dustbin in Paris Labelled 'Never To Be Performed. Never. Ever. EVER. Or I'll Sue! I'LL SUE FROM THE GRAVE!' would never live up to it's brilliant title, a title that is longer that is longer than some of Beckett's plays. The good news is that it does. Like all theatrical in-jokes, this American spoof could wear rather thin, but sheer wit and bravado carry the 70 minutes. . . I have seldom been so moved the theatre, but that was largely because I fell off my chair laughing. . .this little show is as clever as it is silly and as silly as it is clever. It puts on the spot the literary trustees who act like cultural policemen, and our obsession with dead celebrity writers. Old Sam must be laughing in his grave." (Lyn Gardner - The Guardian, 06/08/02)

"This is good silly fun. So if you want to find out how Beckett plagiarised Barbara Cartland, and see Michael Flatley's monologue in a galvanised dustbin. . . Get down to the Assembly Rooms." (Jackie Fletcher -, 04/08/02)

"Hilarious. . . Everybody's favourite existentialist gets a naughty poke in the ribs in this very funny pastiche of some of the arch-minimalist's finest works. . . In the hands of this three-man troupe, under the direction of John Clancy, such a hilarious homage kicks against the all too rarefied Beckett industry. Somewhere the old boy will be wetting himself with glee." (Neil Cooper - The Herald, 07/08/02)

"Respectfully tongue-in-cheek. . . . .Though the humour is accessible for all, Beckett buffs will be extra tickled by the in-jokey absurdism as the performers skillfully manipulate the audience's expectations and frankly, do what they want." (Mererid Williams - The List, 08/08/02)

"The material is accessible enough to ensure that those unfamiliar with his oeuvre will not be drowned in the laughter of Beckett know-alls. . . A treat is his early work, 'Happy Happy Bunny Visits Sad Sad Owl', a puppet show with animals in an existential crisis." (Sarah Barrell - The Independent, 09/08/02)

"The running joke in Theater Oobleck and the Neofuturists' show is that the Beckett estate. . . are trying to stop the proceedings we're watching . They don't succeed, which is great. . . Greg Allen, Ben Schneider and Danny Thompson's main target is Beckett's scattershot scepticism about human endeavour, but they also suggest that the trapped, oppressed, suffering humans aren't always as desolate as they pretend. . . An in-joke? Yes, but a hilariously liberating one." (Benedict Nightingale - The Times, 09/08/02)

"Literary allusions abound but knowing your Krapp from your Godot is not the point. Marvel at the playwright's first offering - a fluffy puppet show penned by the nascent seven-year-old genius - and be moved by his last, the posthumously penned Foot Falls Flatly - a wicked masterpiece of minimalism. . . This is such an original comedy that even the late Beckett would not sue - he would be too busy laughing." (Nick Awde - The Stage, 09/08/02)

"It's artfully, hilariously aware of the absurdity of trying to hitch a ride to fame on the coat-tails of one of the 20th century's greatest playwrights. . . The trio. . . each attempt to seize all the glory while simultaneously trying to gloss over the obvious bogusness. . . An acute stroke of satire." (Dominic Cavendish - The Telegraph, 10/08/02)

"The ebullient cheekiness is irresistible. . . Ben Schneider is also outrageously funny in the hitherto unknown pop-rock version of Rockabye. . . One punter literally fell off his seat laughing." (Kate Bassett - Independent on Sunday, 11/08/02)

"Shrewd and scatty, this inventive skit sneers at the author's notoriously protective estate. . ..irresistible for anyone with a bit of a Beckett background." (Susannah Clapp - The Observer, 18/08/02)

"It's definitely case of play it again, Sam. Gloriously silly and cheekily self-important. . . .As the great msn said: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." Something these guys need not worry about." (Alan Chadwick - Metro, 21/08/02)

"The performances are sharp, the wit sharper; it had audiences in screams and tears" (Village Voice NYC)

WINNER: Fringe NYC Overall Excellence Award. WINNER: Chicago Reader "Critics Choice"

"Howlingly on target!" (New York Times) "Terrific! Irresistible" (Backstage NY)

"Hilarious... Had its audiences screaming with a breathlessness seldom encountered in the theater" (Irish Echo NY)