Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame comes to a close in Sydney this weekend (May 9, 2015), but for the show’s lead actor Hugo Weaving, director Andrew Upton and designer Nick Schlieper, a Beckettian world view will continue to loom large for a while longer.
As they say farewell to one Beckett masterwork, preparations are underway for the London remount of another. STC’s 2013 production of Waiting for Godot, featuring Weaving alongside the other original cast members, Richard Roxburgh, Luke Mullins and Philip Quast, directed by Upton, opens at London’s Barbican Theatre in June.
Writing of STC’s Waiting for Godot, The Australian’s John McCallum said: “I’ve seen many productions of this great play, including one directed by Beckett himself, but this is the best”.
Jo Litson for the Sunday Telegraph wrote: “In this thrilling, incredibly special production, you experience afresh Beckett’s iconic, exquisitely written play about everything and nothing. It really does seem to encompass the whole of life. Unforgettable.”
Jason Blake in the Sydney Morning Herald declared that “everything conspires to make Vladimir and Estragon’s existential plight feel touchingly real.”
Waiting near a tree, Estragon (Roxburgh) and Vladimir (Weaving) struggle to make sense of a peculiar predicament. They are waiting, full of hope, for a man named Godot – though what exactly they are hoping this encounter might bring remains unclear. Joking, bickering and musing on the profound, their shared test of endurance is interrupted by the overbearing Pozzo (Quast) and the hapless Lucky (Mullins) in Beckett’s poetic portrait of humanity’s talent for resilience.
Weaving and Upton are not the only ones in the touring party particularly steeped in Beckett right now. Luke Mullins has recently completed performances in Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Endgame.
The engagement is STC’s second invitation to the Barbican following the success of Gross und Klein (Big and Small)in 2012. STC’s Waiting for Godot is presented as part of the Barbican’s International Beckett Series, alongside other major international artists and companies including Robert Wilson, Olwen Fouéré and Pan Pan Theatre.
Director: Andrew Upton. Associate Director: Anna Lengyel. Set Designer: Zsolt Khell. Costume Designer: Alice Babidge. Lighting Designer: Nick Schlieper. Sound Designer: Max Lyandvert.