In November as part of the 2021 Dublin Dance Festival, I attended the Compagnie Maguy Marin’s performance of ‘May B’, in the O’Reilly Theatre. This was a modern dance interpretation of ‘Endgame’ by Samuel Beckett. Beckett had offered his support to the dance company for this interpretation. It was an appalling evening – you can read my account of it at the link – https://midnightmurphy.com/2021/11/08/i-went-to-an-interpretative-dance-version-of-samuel-becketts-endgame/
I had previously only seen Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ which I had modestly enjoyed. Last night I felt it was time to go the theatre with new eyes, to experience the Gate Theatre production of ‘Endgame’. Surely this was a work that needed to be seen in its original form, and not through the medium of a surly, jazz-hands, interpretive dance version.
This latest production was directed by Danya Taymor and has received state funding through the Arts Council and RTE. It stars Frankie Boyle as Hamm – a surly, blind and wheelchair bound man living in a grotty room in a post-apocalyptic world. He is cared for by a limping Clov (Robert Sheehan). Hamm’s parents Nagg and Nell (played by Sean McGinley and Gina Moxley) have no legs and live in a pair of dustbins in the corner. Hamm spends the play insulting and berating Clov, who threatens to leave Hamm, but never does. There are long speeches (it’s ‘an absurdist comedy’). There’s repetition in the lines and the actions – poor Clov is the only character that moves on the stage (Hamm being wheeled about notwithstanding) throughout the play.
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