KRAPP'S LAST TAPE
[p. 1r] 3.58
Front centre, sitting facing front on an armless wooden chair at a narrow wooden table the two drawers of which open towaards audience. Krapp. a little wearish old man: Krapp.
Little wearish old man.
April 1986. A late envening in 1985 in [⁁] in the nineteen eighties.
 Krapp's sanctum. room. den.
K. is discovered front centre. Krapp, a little wearish old man, is discovered front centre.
 Front centre a small wooden table the two drawers of which open towards audience.
 Sitting at the table, facing front, an old man: Krapp.
 Rusty black narrow trousers too short for him.  Rusty black sleeveless waistcoat, four capacious pockets.  Heavy silver watch and chain.  Grimy white shirt open at ne
xck, no collar.  Surprising pair of dirty white boots, size ten, very narrow and pointed.
 Pallid face.  Purple nose.  Disordered grey hair.  Unshaven.
 Very near sighted (but unspectacled) and  hard of hearing.
 Cracked voice,  peculiar accent.  His walk.
 At centre of table a tape-recorder
., with microphone. On its right a number of cardboard boxes containing recorded tapes. [0019|001] To On its left a thick worn ledger.
 Table and immediately adjacent area in strong white light.  Rest of stage in darkness.
sits remains a moment motionless, then looks at his watch, feels fumbles in his waistcoat pockets, takes out an envelope, puts it back, feels fumbles, takes out a small bunch of keys, raises them to½ to his eyes, choses a key, gets up and moves to front of table.  He stoops, unlocks a drawer, peers into it, feels about inside, it , takes out a reel, peers at it, puts it back, locks it ag closes and locks it drawer, unlocks the other, peers inside, into it, feels about inside, takes out a large banana, [⁁] holds it up high between finger & thumb closes and locks drawer, puts keys back in his pocket.  He turns, advances to edge of stage, halts, [⁁] caresses banana, peels banana [⁁] it, drops the skin a skin, puts the end of the banana in his mouth and remains a moment motionless, staring vacuously before him.  [⁁] He Finally he bites off the end, turns aside and begins pacing up and down at edge of stage, in light, i. 'e. not more than four or five paces either way, eating banana and meditating meditatively.  He treads on skin, slips, nearly falls, erecovers himself, pushes skin with his stoops and peers at skin and finally pushes it, still stooping, with his foot over the edge of stage into pit.  He resumes his pacing, finishes the banana, returns to table, sits down, remains a moment motionless, takes keys from his pocket, raises them to his eyes, choses key, unlocks wr gets up, moves to front of table, as before with both drawers, takes out a second banana, holds it up high between finger and thumb closes and locks drawer s, puts keys back in his pocket, turns and advances to edge of stage, halts, caresses banana peels it, banana, puts skin in his pocket, puts end of banana in his mouth and remains motionless, staring vacuously before him ,.  [⁁] the edge now off his appetite x He has an idea, drops banana at his feet, turns and goes backstage into darkness.  Ten seconds.  Loud pop of cork.  Ten Fifteen seconds.  He comes back into light carrying an old ledger and sits down at table.  He He lays ledger on table, wipes his mouth, wipes his hands on his waistcoat, brings them smartly together and rubs them.
 (briskly).  Ah!  (He bends over ledger, turns the pages, finds the entry he wants, reads.)  Box...thrree...spool...five. (
dHe raises his head and stares front.
 With relish.)  Spool!  (Pause.) [p. 2r]  Spooool! ( Pause.  He stoops to table, starts peering and poking at the boxes.)  Box...thrree...thrree...four...two...(with surprise)...nine! Good God! ...seven...ah! ... the little rascal!  (He separates holds the b iox three from others up high between finger & thumb.)  Box thrree.  (He lays it on the table opens it, peers at the spools inside.)  Spool...(he peers at ledger, finds entry)...five. (He peers at spools.) Five...five...ah! the little soundrel )!  (He takes out a spool, straihghtens up, holds it up spool high between finger and thumb.)  Spool five.  (He lays it on table, closes box three, puts it back with the others. He takes up spool.)  Box thrree, spool five. ( He bends over machine, puts spool on it,
 loads tape on machine, rubs his hands.)  Ah!  Now! (He etc peers at ledger. Reading entry at foot of page.)  Mother at rest at last...  The black ball... (He raises his head ., stares front
 Puzzled.)  Black ball? ([0067|001] Pause.  He peers again at ledger, reads.)  The dark nurse.  (He raises his head, broods, peers again at ledger.)  Improvement in bowel condition... Memorable...what?  (He peers closer.)  Equinox, memorable equinox. ( He raises his head, stares front.  Puzzled.)  Memorable equinox? ( Pause.  He shrugs his sh ioulders, peers again at ledger.)  (Farewell to - (he turns the page) - love.
 He raises his head, broods, bends over machine, switches it on and assumes listening posture, i.e. leaning forward, elbows on table, hand
s cupping ear towards machine, face front.
young voice, rather pompous, obviously Krapp's at a much earlier time.)  This day, being in the third -  (Settling himself more comfotably comfortably he knocks a box off the he curses, switches off machine, sweeps boxed and ledger violently off the table, winds tape back to beginning, switches on machine.)  Thirty-seven today, sound as a -  (Settling himself more comfortably he knocks one of the boxes foff the table ., He curses, switches off machine, sweeps boxes and ledger from table violently ½from table, winds tape back to beginning, xswitches on machine, resumes pose.)  Thirty-seven today, sound as a - a...(hesitates)...whistle, apart from my old trouble, and intellectually I have little dou now every reason to believe suspect at the½ the...(hesitates)... peak apogee crest of my powers - or thereabouts.  Celebrated the awful occasion, as in recent years, quietly at the Winehouse.  No Not o face there I knew Not a soul.  Sat before the fire with closed eyes, separating the grain from the chaff.  Jotted down a few note notes, on the back of an envelope.  Good to be back home again again in my den, in my old rags.  Have just eaten I am ashamed to say regret to say three bananas and only with an effort great difficulty refrained from a fourth.  [⁁] I really must really eschew them cut them out! Worst possible Fatal things for a man with my condition.  Cut them out.
 (Pause.)  The new light above my table is a great improveme ,nt.  With all this darkness round me I feel less alone.  (Pause.)  In a way.  (Pause.)  I like to get up and move about in it, then back here to...(hesitates)...me.
 The grain, what do I mean by that, I mean...(
pause hesitates)...I suppose I mean those things worth having when all the dust has - when all my dust has settled.  I close my eyes and try and imagine them.
Pause. Long pause
 Spooool! 
(Pause.) ( Pause.  He stoops to table, begins peering and poking at the boxes.)  Box...thrree...thrree...four...two...(with surprise)...nine! Jesus!...seven...ah!...the little rascal!  (He takes out a spool, straightens up, holds up spool between finger and thumb.)  Spool five.  (He lays it on table, closes box three, puts it
 Hardly anyone about in those days.
 Extraordinary silence this evening. I strain my ears and do not hear a sound.  Old Miss
Hare Scovell McGlone McGlone always sings at this hour.  [↑] But no tonight  Songs of her girlhood, she says.  Hard to think of her as a girl.  Wonderful woman. Connaught. But not tonight. Wonderful woman [⁁]though.  Connaught I fancy. [⁁] [0116|001] Born, bred and bewildered. [⁁]  (Pause.)  Shall I sing when I am her age, if I ever am?  No.  Did I sing as a boy?  No.  Did I ever sing?  No.
 I have just listened to an old year, passages at random.  I did not check in the book, but it must be at least ten or twelve years ago.  At that time I think
UI was still living on and off with Bianca in Street.  Well out of that.  Hopeless business.  (Pause.)  Not much reference to about her. A queer passage about her description of her Just [⁁] A tribute to her eyes.  I suddenly saw them again.  (Pause.)  Incomparable.  (Pause.)  Ah well... (Pause.)  These old P.M.s are grues eome, but I always - (Krapp switches off, broods, switches on again) - find them a help befo rre embarking on a new...(hesitates)... conspectus retrospect.  Hard to believe I was ever that young pup whelp.  That The voice!  Jesus!  And the aspirations. DOODLE 3 DOODLE 4  (Brief laugh in which A joi Krapp joins.)  And the resolutions!  (Brief laugh in which Krapp joins.)  To drink less, in particular of all things..  (Brief laugh of Krapp alone.)  Statistics.  Seventeen hundred hours, out of the preceding eight thousand odd, consumed on licensed premises alone.  Over 20%.  Plans for a less wearing engrossing sexual life.  Last illness of his father.  Flagging pursuit of happiness.  Unattainable laxation.  [⁁] xx Shadow of the magnum opus.  Closing with a - - (brief laugh) - a yyelp to Providence.  (Prolonged laugh in which Krapp joins.)  What remains of all that misery?  A girl in a shabby green coat, on a railway-station platform?  No ? t even?
 When I look - ( Krapp switches off machine,
nbroods, ;looks at his watch, gets up and goes backstage into darkness.
 Ten seconds.
 Pop of cork.
 Ten seconds.
 Second cork.
 Ten seconds.
 Third cork.
 Ten seconds.
 Brief burst of quavering song. [⁁]
 "Now the day is over,
Night is drawing
Shad Shad-ows  (fit of coughing).
 He comes back into light, sits down, switches on machine, resumes his posture.)  - back on the year that is gone, with what I hope are perhaps the old eyes to come, there is of course the house on the canal where mother lay a-dying, in the early autumn, after her long
viduity ...(hesitates)...viduity (Krapp gives a start ,) and the -  (Krapp switches off machine, winds back tape a little, bends his ear closer to machine)  - a-dying, in the early autumn, after her long viduity ...(hesitates)...viduity, and the - ( Krapp switches off machine, raises his head, stares blankly before him.  His lips move in the syllables of "viduity".  No sound.  He gets up, goes backstage into darkness, comes back with an enormous dictionary, lays it on table, looks up the word, reads, (quotes definition if possib mle), nods, closes dictionary, switches on machine, resumes his posture.)  - bench by the weir from where I could see her window.  There I sat, wishing she were gone.  (Pause.)  Quite a niumber of people I got to know then, oh I mean by appearance, nursemaids, children, old men, dogs. [⁁] DOODLE 5  Very few people about but I got to know one or two - oh by appearance I mean!  Deserted spot it was, just a few regulars, nursemaids, infants, old men, dogs. I got to know them quite well - oh by appearance I mean!  One dark young beauty I
remember particularly, all white and starch, splendid bosom, with a recollect particularly, all white and starch, splendid incomparable bosom, with a big black hooded pram ., most funereal thing.  Whenever I looked in her direction she had her eyes on me.  But one day when I was foolish ingenuous enough enough to speak to her try and pat her on the bottom [Stet] she threatened to call a policeman.  The face she had .!  Eyes  like - moonstone .!  (Pause.)  I was there when - (Krapp switches off, broods, switches on again) - the blind went down, one of those dirty brown roller affairs, throwing a ball for a dog an Aberdeen fox terrier as chance would have it.  I happened to look up and there it was.  All over, at last.  I sat on for a few moments with the ball in my hand and the dark barki dog y appingelping and pawing at me.  (Pause.)  Moments. [0228|001] (Pause.)  Her moments. My moments. DOODLE 6  (Pause.)  The dog's moments.  (Pause.)  In the end I held it out to him and he took it in his mouth, ge gently.  A n small old, tennis ball, black and sodden, but unpunctured., [⁁] solid rubber ball. [⁁]  (Pause.)  I wonder will that mean something some day.  I shall feel it, in my hand, until my dying day.
 I wish I had kept it.
 But I gave it to the dog.
 I shall feel it, in my hand, until my dying day.
 I wish I had kept it.
 But I gave it to the dog.
 Spiritually a year of profound gloom and indigence until that memorable night in March, at the end of the pier, in the howling wind, never to be forgotten, when suddenly I saw the whole thing.  The
turning-point vision, at last.  This I imagine is what I have chiefly to set down this evening, against the day when my work will be done and perhaps no place left in my memory, and no thankfulness, fot eh for the mira vcle that - for the fire that set it alight that - that...(hesitates)...for the fire that set it alight.  What I suddenly saw then was [⁁] was this, [⁁] that the assumption belief I had been going on all my life, namely that -  (Krapp switches off impatiently, winds tape for xward, switches on again)  - granite rocks the foam flyin flying up in the light of the beacon and the anemometer wind gauge spinning like a propellor, clear to me at last that the dark I have had been fighting against too [⁁] have always struggled to keep under x is in reality my most -  (Krapp curses, switches off, winds tape forward, switches on again)  - - unshatterable association tiluntil my dying day ...(hesitates)...dissolution between storm and night of storm and night with the light of the understanding and -  (Krapp curses louder, switches off, winds tape violently forward, switches on again)  - my face in her breasts and my hand on her.  We lay there without moving.  But underneath us all moved, and moved us, gently up and down, and from side to side.
 Past midnight.  Never knew such
a silence.  The earth might be uninhabited.
 Here I end
 Krapp switches off, winds tape back, switches on again.
 - upper lake, with the punt, bathed off the bank, then pushed out into the stream and drifted.  She lay stretched out on the floorboards with her hands under her head and her eyes closed.  Sun blazing down, bit of a breeze, water nice and l
oively.  I noticed a scratch on her thigh and asked her how she got came by it.  Picking gooseberries, she said.  I said again I
thought it was hopeless and no good going on ., She and she agreed, wi hthout opening her eyes.  I(Pause.)  I asked her to look at me and after a few moments - ( Ppause) - after a few moments she did, but the eyes just slits, because of the glare.  I bent over her to bget them in the shadow and they opened. ( Pause.
 Low.)  Let me in.  (Pause.)  We drifted in among the reeds and s stuck.  The way they bent, sighing, before the stem .!  (Pause.)  I lay down across her with my face in her breasts and my hand on her.  We lay without moving.  But underneath us all moved, and moved us, gently up and down, and from side to side.
 Past midnight.  Never knew -
 Krapp switches off, broods.  Finally he fumbles in his waistcoat pockets, encounters the banana-skin, peers at it throws it away, fumbles, brings out the envelope,
puts it back fumbles, puts back the envelope, looks at his watch, gets up and goes backstage into darkness.  Ten seconds.  Sound of bottle against glass, then brief siphon.  Ten sottle seconds.  Bottle against glass alone.
 Ten seconds.  He comes back a little unsteadily into light, goes to front of table, takes out keys, raises them to his eyes, unlocks banana drawer, peers and feels in it, locks it again, unlocks other drawer, peers and fumbles, takes out a fresh virgin? tape reel, holds it up [⁁] high between finger and thumb, locks the drawer, goes and sits down, takes tape off pachine , lays it on top of dictionary, puts the fresh one tape on machine, takes envelope from his pocket, consults back of it, lays in on the ta table, switches on, joins the t oips of his finger , coughs and begins to record.
 Just been listening to that stupid bastard I took myself for thirty years ago, hard to believe I was ever as bad as that.  [⁁]Thank God that's over anyway!  (Pause.)  The eyes she had! ( Broods, realizes he is recording
s silence, switches off, broods.  Finally.)  Everything there, everything, all the -  (Realizes this is not being recorded, switches on.)  Everything there, everything on earth, all the light and dark and hunger and...(brief hesitation)...crapulence famine and feasting of...(hesitates)...the ages!  ( Violently In a shout.)  Yes!  (Pause.)  Let that go!  Jesus!  Take his mind off his homework!  Jesus! ( Pause.  Weary.)  Ah well, maybe he was right.  (Pause.)  Maybe he was right. ( Broods.  Realizes.  Switches off.  Consults envelope.)  Pah! ( Crumples it and throws it away.  Broods.  Switches on.)  Nothing to say, not a thing.  What's a year now.  Chewed cuds and hard stools. irreversible constipation.  (Pause.)  Revelled in the word spool.  (With relish.)  Spooool!  Happiest moment of the year.  (Pause.)  Seventeen copies sold, of which eleven at half-price to lending free lending libraries overseas.  Getting known.  One pound six and something, eight no I have little doubt.  (Pause.)  Crawled out once or twice, before the summer was corpsed.  Sat in the pa rrk with the brats and the skivvies, drowned in dreams and wishing I were gone.  (Pause.)  Last fancies.  Swore to fight[⁁] them off. [⁁] Keep them under. Go mad altogether if I don't keep them under. [⁁] [0342|001] (Pause.) [0342|002] Resolutions. [0342|003] (Pause.) [0342|004] Aspirations.  (Pause.)  Scalded the eyes out of me reading Effie again, a page a day, with tears again.  Effie... (Pause.)  Could have been happy with her, up there on the cold sea, Baltic, and the pines, and the dunes.  (Pause.)  Fanny came in a couple of times.  Bony old whore.  Could[p. 6r]n't do lmuch, but I suppose better than nothing.  The last time wasn't so bad.  How do you manage it, she said, at your age?  I told her I'd been saving up for her all my life.  (Pause.)  Went to Vespers once, like when I was a child. ( Pause.  Sings.)
 Now the day is over
Night is drawing nigh-igh,
Shadows - (fit of coughing
.) xxx Faintly) - of the evening
Steal across the sky.
 Went to sleep and fe
elll off the pew.  (Pause.)  Sometimes wondered in the night if a last effort mightn't -  (Pause.)  Ah Ddrink out your bottle now and the bottle your poison now and get to your bed.  Finish this puke in the morning.  Or leave it at that.  (Pause.)  Leave it at that.  (Pause.)  Lie propp sed up on my back in the dark - and wander. [0377|001] (Pause.)  Be again in the dingle on a Christmas Eve, gathering holly.  (Pause.)  Be again on Croghan on a Sunday morning, in the haze, with the bitch, stop and listen to the bells.  (Pause.)  And so on.  (Pause.)  Be again, be again.  (Pause.)  All that old misery.  (Pause.)  Once wasn't enough [⁁] for me.  (Pause.)  Lie down across her. ( Long pause.  He suddenly bends over machine, switches off, wrenches off tape, throws it away, puts on the other, winds it forward to the passage he wants, switches on, listens staring front.
 - gooseberries, she said.  I said again I thought it was hopeless and no good going on, and she agreed, without opening her eyes. 
I asked her to  (Pause.)  I asked her to look at lme and after a few moments - ( Ppause.) - after a few moments she did, but the eyes just slits, because of the glare.  I bent over gher to get them in the shadow and they opened. ( Pause.  Low.)  Let me in.  (Pause.)  We drifted in among the reeds and stuck.  The way they bent, sighing, before the stem .!  (Pause.)  I la ty down across her with my face in her breasts and my hand on her.  We lay without moving.  But underneath us all moved, and moved us, gently up and down, and from side to side.
 Pause.  Krapp's lips move.  No sound.
 Past midnight.  Never knew such silence.  The earth might be uninhabited.
 Here I end this
...(hesitates)...episode tape reel.  Box...he (hestitates)...three, Bo wx - (pause) - three, spool -(paus )e)- five.  (Pause.)  Well... [⁁] [⁁] Pperhaps my best years are gone.  When there was a chance of happiness.  But I wouldn't want them over again back.  Not with the fire in me now.  No, I wouldn't want them over again back.
AKrapp motionless staring before him.  The tape runs on in a silence.
for Jake Schwartz
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