Theatrical: ‘Waiting for Godot’


On Thursday I was very high-brow. I went to see ‘Waiting for Godot’ by Samuel Beckett at Smock Alley Theatre. I was dreading it. I’ve heard of the play of course – being as it is, one of the most important theatrical works of the 20th century. However, I’d heard that it was allegorical, and ‘about nothing’. Two men waiting by a tree for a character named Godot, whose provenance is never explained. It sounded very art-wanky to my ears. The type of work that, which may be incredibly clever and worthy, but would also be completely incomprehensible to a person like myself, who likes to go to the theatre either to be entertained or to see a shapely male buttock. In my ignorance I would have classified this play as being of the same school as ‘Ulysses’ by James Joyce. That book beloved by millions, but only read by thousands.

The friend who invited me however is a person of taste and refinement. And she knows her theatre. So much so that she is a full time drama student. This, combined with her unparalleled ability to wear streaky fake tan and leopardprint, for her craft, convinced me to go.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s no point in me analyzing the script – the play is a stone cold classic, so it has already transcended critique. This production was quite accessible and entertaining. My pre-show fears were unfounded. Vladimir (Charlie Hughes) and Estragon (Donal Courtney – who I incorrectly guessed was from Cork before being corrected and told that he is in fact from the Kingdom) are waiting for Godot by a tree. Who Godot is, is not explained. They are visited by Pozzo (Gerard Byrne, who recently impressed me in ‘In our veins’) and Lucky (Rex Ryan). What transpires makes no logical sense. It’s all very allegorical,  but remains entertaining and captivating. The cast were impressive with the two main characters making an impressive bowler-hatted double act, while Byrne and Ryan made for a more sinister and creepy pair.

I enjoyed it very much. Directed by Patrick Sutton, the final show is tomorrow. If you are at a loose end tomorrow night and there are any tickets available I’d recommend you go see it.

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