Godot worth the wait

Townsville Bulletin - - CLASSIFIEDS -

WAIT­ING for Godot has been called the most sig­nif­i­cant play of the 20th cen­tury.

Writ­ten by Ir­ish play­wright Sa­muel Becket in the mid­dle of last cen­tury, the play could at first seem too dense and te­dious to hold an au­di­ence’s at­ten­tion. But this te­dium is in­ter­spersed with fran­tic ac­tiv­ity which works only if the two main pro­tag­o­nists are thor­oughly be­liev­able. John Robert­son as Es­tragon and Michael Sams as Vladimir per­form at a daz­zling level of slap­stick, com­edy and drama.

Their search for re­lief from bouts of pitiable bore­dom leads to the clever di­a­logue and prat­falls which make the roles so sought af­ter by out­stand­ing ac­tors. They are more than vagabonds or clowns; they are a metaphor for a hope­less­ness of ex­is­tence.

These two are stuck in an ex­is­ten­tial nowhere, while wait­ing for a man called Godot, who never comes, but their hope for his ar­rival is their only rea­son to en­dure. Is this pur­ga­tory for two poor, tor­tured dead souls, or per­haps a night­mare be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced by one, or even both?

There are three other crit­i­cal char­ac­ters that make up the cast. Pozzo is an ar­ro­gant, con­de­scend­ing, slave- driv­ing, sup­posed squire. His trans­for­ma­tion from pre­ten­sion and pom­pos­ity to de­jec­tion and hu­mil­i­a­tion is well han­dled by Max Lenoy in a great per­for­mance.

His iron­i­cally named slave, Lucky, has much stage time and just one speech in the en­tire play, but it con­sists of 736 words, rat­tled off in a seem­ingly un­in­tel­li­gi­ble gib­ber­ish, but which in fact has mean­ing if you can re­fer to the script and have ac­cess to Becket’s notes ( or these days you can just Google it). In an ex­cep­tional per­for­mance, Colin Livesy makes these words po­etic and his char­ac­ter touch­ing.

The seem­ingly in­con­se­quen­tial role of Boy is ac­tu­ally piv­otal in ex­plain­ing more of the plight of our pair of pitiable beg­gars and Lach­lan Carey is fault­less in the

THOR­OUGHLY BE­LIEV­ABLE: John Robert­son as Es­tragon and Michael Sams as Vladimir in re­hearsal for

Wait­ing for Godot.

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