[20040031] Waiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot

FourDoors Theatre Company @ Promethean Theatre

7:00pm, Thu 26 Feb 2004

Score: 8

Short Review: Bizarre

First things first: in no way, under no stretch of the imagination, would I ever consider myself to be intimate with Godot (or, indeed, any of Beckett’s other works). So I approached this one as a virtual n00b, and was most intrigued to read in the program that the director of this production asked his actors to adapt their responses according to their impulses on the night. I’m pretty certain this approach contributed to the bizarre performance I bore witness to.

After a creatively revealing start to proceedings, the performance seemed to be completely played for laughs, and at some points became almost farcical. Vladimir and Estragon were able to procure much audience mirth from carefully weighted lulls in their dialog, and the set was cheesily elaborate. At times the humour seems a little out of place – is there really a “who farted?” joke in the original and, if not, did one really need to be added? – but, in general, the laughs come in the delivery: the deadpan “bellyfull of lamentations”, “Abel… Cain… he’s all humanity”, “people are ignorant apes”.

Pier Carthew’s Pozzo impressed, especially with his comical pleas for help. Daisy Noyes all-thinking, all-dancing Lucky was gorgeous, and Dale March’s Estragon provided a good foil for Seamus Maynard’s superbly measured, wide-eyed Vladimir. Liberties were taken, I’m sure, but the results were well worthwhile – almost good enough for me to forgive the line “Critic? The highest form of insult.” ;)

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