Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts

Online $5 Parking Deal

Take advantage of our special online rate of $5 with Secure Parking. To secure your spot ahead of time click below. 

More Info


Presented by Judith Wright Centre, Kupka’s Piano and Queensland Music Festival 

In a post-truth world, where words can no longer be trusted, can we instead say it with music? New music ensemble Kupka's Piano continues this investigation in the 2017 Words Fail series.

All dark no begging
No giving no words
No sense no need...

Sloth, love, aging, and the meaninglessness of words themselves are explored in this enigmatic radio play by Samuel Beckett.

The work casts music as an actual “character” (although often also called Joe), who works with and sometimes against, ignores and sometimes taunts Words (often called Bob) as he gets lost in doubt-filled reflections, rambles, and songs. Interjecting throughout this strange dialogue, a third character, the inexplicable Croak, implores the two characters to “Be friends!” but it is clear that this relationship is an impossible one.

The music, written by American minimalist Morton Feldman and added to the radio play in 1987, provides an eerie and often sarcastic counterpoint to Beckett’s famously witty and self-conscious wordplay. Words and Music will be performed completely in the dark to preserve the intended platform of a radio play, and it will be followed by Feldman’s brilliant Why Patterns as a postlude. This production is a collaboration with award-winning Australian actress Helen Howard and local director and writer Michael Futcher, who makes a rare return to performing in the Australian premiere of Beckett’s and Feldman's work, and is presented by the Queensland Music Festival.

Design by Inkahoots 


Event Details

Date & Time

Sat 15 Jul, 7.30pm

Duration: Approx 75mins, no interval
Foyer Bar opens 6.30pm

Pre-concert talk in the foyer at 7.00pm


Theatre Unreserved Seating 

Theatre Full: $35 
Theatre Concession: $30 

Conc: Full-time students, pensioners, unwaged and government senior cardholders ONLY



Online review

“Throughout the entire concert, the seamless blending of sound between instruments reveals a genuine strength of the ensemble. Whether in forming a vertical texture or in handing a phrase from one instrument to another, the sound glows with the musicality of the performers.”