Waiting for Godot

Tue 22nd – Sat 26th May 2012

reviews

Daniela Franceschinelli

at 23:14 on 22nd May 2012

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"Waiting for Godot" directed by Charlie Parham is a brilliant version of the play. High fidelity to the original verision but with a touch of personality, of innovation.

The stage is almost bare, the Beckettian tree stands out. It's illuminated by an inner light which represents the only light on stage. Everything is dusty, to suggest the passing of time. Costumes, floor and faces are all covered by this white dust. As with all of Beckett's plays, the outstanding power of his works seems to lie in their lack of certainties, of truth, of orientation, of narrative, of believes, of action. These are works which are better described by saying what lacks, what it is lost rather than what they truly are, what they truly state. The actors, Theo Hughes-Morgan (Estragon), Jack Hudson (Vladimir), Edward Eustace (Pozzo), and Guy Woolf (Lucky) are all more than able to convey this sense of unsaid and undone through their words and their action. The rhythm of the show is slow enough to catch all the lines and all the gestures but not too slow to get bored. Lucky (Guy Woolf) is outstanding in his monologue, he seems very painstricken, he is intense.

The second act was a little bit more played for laughs. Estragon (Theo Hughes-Morgan) and Vladimir (Jack Hudson) are more grotesque, it seemed more as a parody. The acting was too caricatural, but on the other hand that helped to create the right atmosphere for the second coming of Pozzo and Lucky. The blind Pozzo is magistrally played by Edward Eustace. He's extremely intense and he's more than able to convey the sense of hopelessness which is in the air.

The powerful lines of Beckett are perfectly embodied by the actors and by the director who decided to leave space for the unsaid to emerge during the long silences among the lines uttered.

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Bara Golanova

at 02:50 on 23rd May 2012

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Waiting for Godot is not one of the shortest plays you will ever see. And that's probably the way it should be, for waiting is a long, tiring, boring process during which you try and pass your time however you can. Luckily, Charlie Parham as director of the show along with the cast managed to capture the audience in a moment of absurd, hilarious, depressing, gripping drama.

The fact that Godot actually doesn't come is widely known even to those who have only remotely heard of the pice. This fact, on the one hand, could be seen as an enormous spoiler, but what it actually does is that it underlines the overall absurdity of Beckett's drama, for people are still coming to see a play of which they know has no ending. The piece relies on four main characters, two friends Estragon (Theo Hughes-Morgan) and Vladimir (Jack Hudson), and Pozzo (Edward Eustace) and his slave Lucky (Guy Woolf), all of whom were portrayed brilliantly by the actors.

Parham did not use this classic of modern drama to experiment or implement any ground-braking novelties. He did present an interesting approach towards the two main characters, Estragon and Vladimir, when he chose not to portray them explicitly as old men (as they usually are), but to somewhat "let them flow" without forcing any mental image into the audience's heads. As Parham himself says, this isn't exactly any dramatic new take on the piece itself, but it does provide the viewer with more liberty of conceptualizing the characters, making their constant time references and memory loss even more absurd than they would ordinarily be.

What was the true gem of the show were the performances of the actors. Eustace was brilliant in his portrayal of Pozzo, changing moods and tone with the blink of an eye, managing to encompass the weirdness of his character in gestures as well as mimics. Hudson captured the comedian in Vladimir, making the audience laugh by merely shuffling around the stage, while "feeling lonely". Hughes-Morgan successfully showed Estragon as a somewhat senile man, who was becoming tired of life and tired of waiting, and who dearly loved his friend. What was remarkable was how all the actors worked together. They gave an impression that they had been working with each other for quite some time, clearly a result of good directoral guidance.

The concept of time in the play was also well-handled, with pauses being either too long or too short, but never just right. This might normally cause confusion or disturbance of the piece as a whole, but with Beckett it only emphasized the absurd feeling of the situations.

Overall, Godot is definitely worth waiting for. Even though the wait doesn't really have an end, the cast and direction make it very worth-while.

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