The phrase “Waiting for Godot” has become part of the language since Samuel Beckett’s classic play was first performed in English in 1955. The phrase usually refers to absurdist or existentialist concepts and the interpretations of the play normally focus on these attributes. The play has been deeply and widely analysed and interpreted in a myriad of ways. The current production at Riverside Theatre, Parramatta, has given theatregoers an opportunity to experience this iconic play.
The lives of two seemingly homeless men, Vladimir (David Attrill) and Estragon (Errol Henderson), are examined in an indistinct location near a tree, as they divert themselves by clowning around, joking and arguing, while waiting expectantly and unsuccessfully for the mysterious Godot.
Cameron Malcher’s direction focuses on the futility of human endeavours but this darkness is counteracted by the slapstick of the two clowns and their slightly mad ramblings as they flop and flail their way through their meagre existence.
Erica J. Brennan’s performance as Pozzo is a highlight of the show. Pozzo is an interesting character brought to life by Brennan’s assured performance. Clive Hobson’s played Lucky and it may sound trite to say his facial expressions brilliantly capture Beckett’s humour but given the nature of the role it is a significant achievement. Charlie Vaux completes the cast as the nervous and intimidated A Boy and fulfils his role admirably.
The excellent costumes by The Wardrobe, Chatswood, reach the right balance of dilapidation or impressiveness as required by the various characters.
Waiting for Godot is a difficult and plaintively sad play. If you are not a fan of slapstick humour it possibly does not have obvious appeal. However, the play needs to be examined in terms of how extraordinary and innovative it was for its time. There is endless scope to view the play and deeply explore the complexity of ideas and themes contained in the script. The short season of this enigmatic play ends 7th March.
For more about Waiting For Godot, visit http://riversideparramatta.com.au/