Waiting for Godot
A Play By Samuel Beckett
17th January to 30th January 2011
There are broad smiles amid the ?catastrophe in Ludo Von Eschenbach's production of Samuel Beckett's classic, Waiting For Godot. Played out on an impressive crumbling theatre-within-a-theatre design, in which the iconic tree pushes through the broken boards of a ravaged stage, Eschenbach's ?production suggests that the show ?really will go on endlessly for Estragon (Gogo, played by Luke Shaunessy) and Vladimir (Didi, a superb return performance by Jonathan Granger), a bottom-of-the-bill ?double act trapped in an epic drama with no beginning and no end. It's as if the Shanchie itself is falling down around our ears, and we are all buried inside, the survivors of some terrible ?calamity.
The brilliance of Beckett's play is that it is both non-specific and incredibly concrete, endlessly elusive and yet ?universal. With this quartet you feel the play's realness: they're not trying to embody metaphysics, they're acting people ? people like ourselves who ?continue to wait, even as we ponder what we're waiting for. Is it for life to really start, or for death to finally claim us? This sense of realness is essential, and there is genuine pleasure in the way these four fine actors play effortlessly off each other as if they've known each other all their lives (which they probably have). They are easy with each other ? generous, too.
When Shaunessy, with a huge beatific smile, lies his head on Granger's benign shoulder, it all becomes as winsome as a greetings card, apparently sent to cheer us all up in these long January days, when the darkness seems to have no end.