All performances of Watt by Samuel Beckett have been cancelled as a direct result of the Government’s new border control measures requiring all arrivals into New Zealand to self-isolate for 14 days.

 The performer, Barry McGovern, and the crew in Watt by Samuel Beckett were due to arrive in New Zealand after midnight on Sunday 15 March when the border control measures took effect leaving Auckland Arts Festival with no choice but to cancel the season. Ticketholders will be contacted by Ticketmaster to arrange refunds.


Irish actor and legendary Samuel Beckett expert Barry McGovern performs his exceptional stage adaptation of the novel Watt for the first time in New Zealand.

Arriving in the countryside, Watt begins a slow, existential trek to the home of Mr Knott. But how will this itinerant manservant cope when he reaches the residence of his unseen employer, with a confounding list of duties and a collection of extraordinary characters

The great Barry McGovern has received acclaim around the globe for his one-man performance since 2010, and it remains among the finest, funniest and most popular Beckett interpretations ever. Capturing the essence of the writer’s dark worldview while amplifying his scintillating humour and wordplay, Watt will have you in raptures contemplating the absurdity of life – and discovering there’s so much more to Beckett on stage than Waiting for Godot.

Post-show Q&A
A post-show talk with Barry McGovern and director Tom Creed follows the performance on Thursday 26 November

Read a NZ Listener interview with Barry McGovern here

to an interview with Barry McGovern on RNZ National's Kim Hill here


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"Anyone who cares about acting should seize the chance to see McGovern perform. "  The Age (Australia)

“It’s marvellous theatre and, strangely for Beckett, you leave with warmth in your soul.”  Sunday Independent (UK)

“Watt is a dramatic masterpiece. Acting does not get better than this, theatre does not get better than this.” The Saturday Paper (Australia)

“So enthralling you don’t want it to end.” Sydney Morning Herald

“Singular, stealthy and distinguished.” The Guardian (UK)



Adapted by
Barry McGovern
Director Tom Creed
Set and Lighting Design Sinéad Mckenna
Costume Design Joan O’Clery

Image Pia Johnson

Supported by

Culture Ireland6

★★★★ A gem of a show… one of the greatest Beckett interpreters in the world.

Time Out (Melbourne)