Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Yesterday night I had to leave early my class of Sex, Violence and politics- while very interesting-  to run to the theater to see the most famous piece of Samuel Beckett : Waiting for Godot. Considered as the most prominent work in the Theatre of the Absurd movement I never had the chance to see a representation. And I quickly realized how lucky I was - once again- to see it in London with amazing actors such as Ian Mc Kellen. Oh god!! that's how you distinguish a good performer everytime he plays a role in the Lord of Rings, in X-men or Estragon in Beckett's he is his character, his spectrum of representations is so large that he is never assigned to one kind of character. 

Synopsis: Waiting for Godot is a two acts piece and tells the history of Estragon and Vladimir waiting for someone named Godot. To occupy themselves, they eat, sleep, converse, argue, sing, play games, exercise, swap hats, and contemplate suicide.Their waiting is interrupted by the passing through of Pozzo and his heavily-laden slave Lucky. At the end of the act , a boy arrives, purporting to be a messenger sent from Godot, to advise the pair that he will not be coming that evening but surely tomorrow. During Vladimir's interrogation of the boy, he asks if he came the day before, making it apparent that the two men have been waiting for an indefinite period and will likely continue to wait ad infinitum. After the boy departs, they decide to leave but make no attempt to do so, an action repeated in Act II.

Throughout Waiting for Godot, Beckett introduces religious, philosophical, classical and biographical references. The play is a mix of comedy and pathos which I found the most interesting feature of the piece. People in the audience had strange attitudes especially when came the time to laugh, sometimes they just laugh when I woud never think about it. While watching the piece you are torn between laughable scenes and dramatic ones. For example when Estragon and Vladimir think about suicide at the end of Act II by hanging themeselves on the tree (only piece of the deco) but have no rope, Estragon undoes his belt and looses his pants. The only people I sw laughing felt quickly guilty to do so. I had this impression that everyone was waiting for a signal to express their emotions.

Waiting for Godot at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until the 4th avril.


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