Setting the scene
Having never seen Waiting for Godot before I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. The stage was a barren land and set the scene for a theme of nothingness and the hope that something better is just around the corner – if you just wait a little longer.
Peppered with humour, Waiting for Godot certainly made my mind work in a way that no theatre production has before. And what seems strangely dry and simple is actually quite the opposite.
Taking on a whole new role, Gloucestershire’s much-loved clown, Tweedy, starred as Estragon. Bringing with him touches of his signature silliness, clumsy charm and unforgettable mannerisms that only added to his performance. Making an unlikely friendship, Jeremy Stockwell played Vladimir with Irish gusto, and while he’s the more intelligent of the pair, was an equally likeable character.
Larger than life, Pozzo comes booming along with his unlikely-named slave, Lucky. Providing a much-needed distraction for Estragon and Vladimir, Pozzo’s pompous and flamboyant character orders poor Lucky to do just about everything for him. Eerily quiet, disturbed and somewhat lifeless, Lucky is ordered to entertain by dancing, providing a performance that quite simply boggles your mind. Particularly when he is ordered to ‘think’ and out pours a rambling monologue which roused the greatest applause of the night.
If you’re expecting a fast-paced, all-action play, then Waiting for Godot is quite the opposite, but that’s its whole charm. The repetition of the dialogue, the monotonous scene and the air of panic and desperation for something better to come along, perfectly mirrors the monotony of life if you’re always waiting for something that never arrives.
With characters boasting charm and wit, Waiting for Godot is a tale of friendship and the tedious routine of life. It’s everything you don’t expect from a play about life. Simple staging, cleverly crafted characters and an unlikely friendship, but one thing is for sure – you’ll leave the theatre thinking about what you just watched and it may just shift your view on what life is really all about.
Although a serious concept, Waiting for Godot is sprinkled with comedic charm and a superb cast that makes it an unforgettable take on Samuel Beckett’s classic play.
By Sophie Bird