The Computer Science of Beckett's Quad

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12 November 2013

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Samuel Beckett's Quad is an intricate dance for four players; written as a television play it is rarely performed live. Pan Pan theatre company are brave interpreters of Beckett, often staging his work in new context and new formats, for example, they staged the radio plays Embers and All That Fall at this year's Edinburgh International Festival. They also did a lecture demonstration of Quad which involved four student dancers from Scottish Ballet, Beckett experts Mark Nixon and Octavian Saiu and  Conor Houghton from Computer Science. Conor  explained the mathematical structure of the play and argued that in his dance Beckett intentionally created a mathematical problem with no satisfactory solution, enacting the failure that can be found even in near nothingness and near silence.