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Going underground...

In the cavernous depths of the Marble Arch Caves, the worlds of Dante and Beckett merged in a surreal sonic mosaic.

Beckett's characters endure a hellish existence where time is interminable, illusive and corrosive. The ancient Marble Arch Caves, where sinkhole rivers erode the seemingly permanent rock with unrelenting quiet force provided not only a unique stage, but a striking metaphor for Beckett's recurring themes.

Twenty-seven theatre goers were ferried in three boats through dim light to a cavern where Italian actress Chicca Minni, dressed in black, recited Beckett's 1972 monologue Not I.

The pathway on foot through the caves was lined by 33 Fermanagh men and women reciting from Dante's Inferno. Then a single voice replaces the cacophony as vocalist Jeanne Munroe sings the Dido's Lament. Then, singing Amazing Grace, Munroe leads the way back up into the light.

IAN PATTERSON

Belfast Telegraph

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