Description: Cloaked, cowled figures wander in patterns to rhythm instruments. Samuel Beckett's Quad was written in 1981 and first appeared in print in 1984 (Faber and Faber) where the work is described as "[a] piece for four players, light and percussion" and has also been called a "ballet for four people." It resembles something the shape-theatre ensemble Mummenschanz might have conceived, a frantic mime. The only thing in the Beckett canon that is at all similar is the short mime at the beginning of What Where.
The play was first transmitted by the Süddeutscher Rundfunk in Germany on 8 October 1981 - as Quadrat 1 + 2. Beckett himself directed ("assisted by Bruno Voges"). The four performers, all "members of the Stuttgart Preparatory Ballet School", were, Helfried Foron, Juerg Hummel, Vlaudia Knujpfer and Susanne Rehe. The same performance was rebroadcast on 16 December 1982, by BBC Two.
"Quad has a musical structure. It is a kind of canon or catch - a mysterious square dance. Four hooded figures move along the sides of the square. Each has his own particular itinerary. A pattern emerges and collisions are just avoided" (Radio Times).
Photograph: Reg Lancaster/Hulton Archive