Watch Gabriel Byrne as Samuel Beckett in trailer of new film

Gabriel Byrne as Samuel Beckett
Gabriel Byrne as Samuel Beckett

A first look of Gabriel Byrne as Nobel Prize winning poet Samuel Beckett in the film Dance First has been released.

Byrne plays the older version of Beckett in the new film, directed by Oscar-winning James Marsh (The Theory of Everything) and written by BAFTA winner Neil Forsyth (Guilt), while fellow Irish actor Fionn O'Shea features as the younger Beckett in the sweeping account of the life of this 20th century icon.

Inspired by Beckett’s famous ethos “Dance first, think later,” the film explores the many parts of the literary genius’ life: Parisian bon vivant, World War II Resistance fighter, Nobel Prize-winning playwright, philandering husband, and recluse.

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10 things you may not know about Nobel Laureate Samuel Beckett

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In this playful film we see his life through his mistakes and fraught relationships with James Joyce (Aidan Gillen – Game Of Thrones), his wife Suzanne (Sandrine Bonnaire – Vagabond) and his lover Barbara Bray (Maxine Peake – The Theory of Everything).

The film revolves around this turning point, the internal debate raging within Beckett as to which of the people in his life most deserve to be the beneficiaries of his shame.

Dance First will premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival on September 30, before being released in cinemas from November 3, on Sky Cinema in December and on Sky Arts and Freeview in 2024.