29 Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Directed by Peter Green with Chrissie Lester and much appreciated assistance of John Covey

12-13th July, 2014, Jubilee Hall, New Park Centre, Chichester

‘You have taken a very difficult play and absolutely nailed it. This has been a landmark production for The Players. It has established us as a truly reputable company. I have always said that a good play does not need a big set, flashy lighting, or elaborate costumes. It needs good actors! This production had outstanding actors. It also had a great technical crew, which worked tirelessly to get it right. One of the best performances I have ever seen (amateur or professional ). 
Bognor should be proud’
 – JC

 ‘Tour de Force’ – AG

‘Superb’ – AW

SYNOPSIS

Godot has no significant plot or character development but focuses on two gentleman of the road – Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo) who have been together for fifty years and have nothing to do in life but wait for a Mr Godot.

The thing that particularly attracts me to the play is the exploration of what happens in life when you strip away all the distractions that normally preoccupy us, where the characters have nothing but the tatty clothes they live in and the odd carrot or turnip to live on.

In this bare existence they have just one goal and that is to get through the day and they do this waiting for the mysterious Godot and filling the time with conversation and banter. Is Godot God? There are references to being saved if Godot turns up. Are Gogo and Didi in limbo whilst waiting to be saved? Becket told Sir Ralph Richardson ‘if by Godot I had meant God I would have said God and not Godot’. So Godot is not God – but who?

The passage of time is a crucial part of the play – when you have nothing to do then the elements of the day provided by nature itself – daybreak, daytime, twilight, evening, night-time provide a ‘repertory’ of performances for those who have time on their hands to observe the changes through the day.

The play is a classic of twentieth century literature. Harold Hobbs commented on the 1955 production ‘Go and see Waiting for Godot. At worst you will discover a curiosity, a four-leaved clover, a black tulip; at best, something that will securely lodge in a corner of your mind for as long as you live’.

Peter Green (Vladimir)

CAST

EstragonBernard Taylor
VladimirPeter Green
LuckyDavid Rosser
PozzoRichard Greenhorn
BoyErin Green
  
PromptJulia Webb

PRODUCTION

This production was created for the Chichester Festival based on the theatrical production at Felpham Village Hall in February 2014. Unlike Felpham Village Hall the Jubilee Hall had no stage or theatrical lighting and we are hugely indebted to Mark and Natalie Rowlands for providing and assembling a full working stage with professional lighting together with the work of Alex Marner and help of Trevor Roman which allowed us to recreate the superb effects we had created at Felpham.

The Regis Players
Waiting for Godot 

Reviewed by: Jose Harrison on 2nd February at Felpham Village Hall
Venue: Felpham Village Hall
Type of Production: Play
Director: John Covey

SHOW REPORT

Once again this society presented a very demanding piece of theatre which is rarely performed as it requires some expert acting to make it acceptable for the average viewer. Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ is the story of two tramps who have been together for fifty years and have nothing else to do but wait around. Over two days they encounter two other travellers and a boy messenger. There is no plot or real reason to make this a play other than the opportunity for some incredible acting and demanding direction. I often say that a set is simple but this one was even more simple than usual. When the curtain opened the stage was bare except for an eight to ten foot high tree, without any leaves, planted in the stage with a sky line behind and a rock beside it which doubled as a seat. The lighting completed a magical set, portraying time passing, finishing with a wonderful moon. Act two was the same but supposedly next day but with real branches of leaves on the tree.

Peter Green played Vladimir (Didi) and his performance as the more controlling of the two tramps was superb with great body language, facial expressions and use of pauses. His costume was cleverly put together, make-up great and general demeanour through-out ideal for the part. Bernard Taylor as Estragon (Gogo) provided the audience some light relief and amusement regarding a bit of a problem over his boots which were making him rather lame being the wrong size. His performance was equally outstanding in every respect. These two characters were on the stage for very nearly the entire evening with pages of the most difficult dialogue which was going round in circles and never really getting anywhere.

Later in Act 1 and again later in Act 2 the other pair of travellers entered the scene. Richard Greenhorn played Pozzo with all the expertise one would expect from someone who has spent his life both on and off the professional and amateur stage. His credits read like a ‘who’s who’ of the theatre world and it showed in every respect of his performance. He was accompanied by David Rosser (Lucky) who gave them all expert support in his comparatively silent role apart from vast amounts of gibberish in act one. Young Erin Green carried out her part as The Messenger with great maturity and clarity.

My overall view of this play is that it is something to be watched by all theatre lovers but only if the performers are experts and these certainly were just that.

 

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