September 18, 2014
SYDNEY Theatre Company’s production of Waiting for Godot, praised by The Australian’s seasoned theatre critic as the best he had seen, has been invited to London for the International Beckett Season next year.
Starring Richard Roxburgh, Hugo Weaving, Philip Quast and Luke Mullins, and directed by Andrew Upton, the production of Samuel Beckett’s bleak masterpiece — in which, famously, nothing happens, twice — attracted 35,000 theatregoers last November.
Roxburgh as Estragon won the Helpmann Award for best actor in a play and Mullins as the unfortunate Lucky took best supporting actor. The play was named best main-stage production at the Sydney Theatre Awards in January. The same cast performs at London’s Barbican from June 4 to 13.
The Australian’s John McCallum wrote that Weaving and Roxburgh as the two clownish, down-at-heel protagonists brought out the comedy and the tenderness in perfect proportion.
“Weaving’s Didi is almost dapper, with a light crisp vocal style betrayed by facial twitches — a grinding of his jaw — and a feverish quality to his movement.
“Roxburgh’s Gogo is like a bruised little boy, eternally naive, often almost cheerful, but with abrupt moments when his deep confusion and unhappiness suddenly surface … The gradual revelation of the value of their long friendship is like a riposte to more gloomy readings of the play … I’ve seen many productions of this great play, including one directed by Beckett, but this is the best.”
Weaving and Mullins will both perform in Beckett’s Endgame next year, for STC and the Melbourne Theatre Company respectively.