Post by J. P. Gilliver (John) Post by Mike
‘Has he come yet?’
My brother was in Godot for the school play. We particularly liked these
[one character:] "Shall we go?"
[another character:] "Yes, let's go."
[Stage direction:] They do not move.
"They do not move" became a family meme between the two of us.
I think that's the one school play where I left at the interval and did
not return. I was not alone ...
AIAOU in having seen a production of Godot that I actually thought was
really good? Bleak, but good. I had to look it up; Googling revealed
that it was when in '1971 Peter O’Toole, Donal McCann, Niall Toibin and
Frank Middlemass are Waiting for Godot, a production that for the length
of its run “makes Nottingham Playhouse the theatrical capital of
England,” says Sunday Times critic Harold Hobson.'
I was only 17 but I still remember that O'Toole and McCann were
brilliant and utterly riveting. The opening of the second half where
they discover a leaf on the tree in mime is still with me, as is the
exchange above when they do not move. (And the business with the hats
was genuinely very funny.) It had a profound effect on me as two people
utterly stuck in a mindset which from the outside looks so easy to break
out of and just leave to get on with life, but they simply can't do it.
I've never forgotten it.
I'm not sure I'd want to sit through it again, mind you - and certainly
not as a school production. And not long after that I saw an amateur
production of Endgame; all I remember about it is two people in dustbins
and being profoundly bored throughout. Perhaps I was just lucky with
that one production.
Sid (Make sure Matron is away when you reply)