At last, the day arrived! I went to see Beckett’s famous play, ‘Waiting for Godot’, at The Everyman Theatre in Cork. I wasn’t disappointed!
First of all, I think that going to the theatre is a great experience. I love to see the mix of people attending a play, I love the anticipation before entering the room, but above all, I love that feeling of intimacy you get with the actors.
As I’ve said in a previous post, this is a commemorative tour celebrating the Gate Theatre’s 80th anniversary, but also the 20th anniversary since the play was first produced by the Gate Theatre on Beckett’s request. With the exception of Johnny Murphy who only joined the cast in 1991, this 2008 production is acted by the original cast from 1988, that is Barry McGovern, Stephen Brennan, and Alan Stanford. I was particularly delighted to see Barry McGovern in a Beckett play, he is considered a master of Beckett and he did work with him a lot, so I believe that such a production is close to what Beckett would have done himself. Plus, I love Barry McGovern’s voice!!
I knew what to expect as I have read all of Beckett’s plays and studied ‘Waiting for Godot’ a few years ago, however I noticed that a few seats were empty after the interval. It made me smile and reminded me of the fact that when the play was first produced in France and in England the audience would often be dimayed and leave the room altogether! Indeed, it is difficult to know what to make of ‘Waiting for Godot’, or of any of Beckett’s plays for that matter. However, ‘Waiting for Godot’ is probably one of his most accessible plays since humour still seem to outweight that gloomy vision of human existence Beckett is often tagged with.
‘Waiting for Godot’ is a play about waiting and how to fill the time while waiting. It points at the pointlessness of human existence, when only one thing is certain, that we are all waiting to die.
“What are we doing here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come” (Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot)
So, along with Vladimir and Estragon, last night I did wait…. And as Beckett’s plays often highlight it’s always more pleasant to wait with company than on one’s own, even if it does not make the waiting anymore logical.
And to give you a little taste, here are two extracts from the film, with the same actors… Enjoy!