The packed out Friday night at the Kings’ was almost too much to handle as we stood there, drinks in hand, waiting…to wait. Rolling into the auditorium we get to sit and hope that no-one tall decides to take the seat in front – we were lucky. Once posited in our comfy chairs we got to gaze at the set. A masterpiece: an extension of the auditorium – boxes and all – that had been shamelessly destroyed, holes in the stage, rocks, the tree jutting out of the ground like some forgotten Italian courtyard. The endless ironical jokes about waiting were bouncing around the audience and everyone was so delightfully funny, then it happened, and McKellen’s hands jutted out from behind a rock and he stumbled down the stage. Ahh…bliss. What uncurled before us was the answer to the intrepid question of how to make abusrdist theatre interesting: actors who can act. Simple.
What uncurled before us was the answer to the intrepid question of how to make abusrdist theatre interesting: actors who can act. Simple.
Needless to say the cast were flawless, Callow as Pozzo certainly wasn’t going to allow anyone to take away an OK to the master-slave dialectic. His deliciously glutinous vocal and red face embodied everything Beckett intended. Ronald Pickup as Lucky also did a fine job, blerting out the pseudo-philosphical jargon so fast the poor sign-language interpreter gave up half-way through.
And once you got over the star-fucking and let Gandalf and Captain Jean-Luc Picard slip from the mind, the questions of communication between generations, classes, the nature of reality, basically everything you wanted oozed from the stage. The endless circles and repetitive dialogue which most people deem as meaningless, were brought to life and enacted before us with style, zest and beauty. Endless questions are aroused with no respite, and the audience sat in awe as they watched the best of British actors guide us through the complex text.
Further reading that embodies the opposite of my opinion is here and perhaps much better articulated…
Kings’ Theatre Edinburgh, until Sat 18 Apr