Wits’ End presents
WAITING FOR GODOT
23 November – 16 December
Eleventh Hour Theatre, Fitzroy
Direction & Dramaturgy: William Henderson
Co-Direction & Choreography: Shona Innes
Performed by: John Jacobs, Richard Bligh, Tom Considine & William Henderson
Design: Julie Renton
Lighting: Nik Pajanti
October 1947, little known novelist Samuel Beckett, with practically no theatrical experience, sits down and writes the most radical play of the 20th century in a mere 12 weeks. What emerges is astonishing: “a play in which nothing happens twice”, in which two mysterious figures wait in a featureless landscape for another, equally mysterious personage, who never arrives, yet continues to send messages from the aether. Two men simply waiting then, who while waiting, create the most extraordinarily funny series of activities and routines to keep themselves, and us, amused. In Beckett’s own words – a tragicomedy, equal parts pain and laughter
“Waiting for Godot seems to have a unique resonance during times of social and political crisis. As a modernist existential meditation it can at first appear bleak: “They give birth astride of a grave,” says Pozzo. “The light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more.” But it is also funny and poetic, and reveals humanity’s talents for stoicism, companionship and keeping going.” – THE GUARDIAN
In July 1976 at the famous Pram Factory theatre in Carlton, two strikingly similar looking, semi-awake (for such was the era) gangly and precariously inexperienced university students wandered on to the stage as the two clowns in Samuel Beckett’s revolutionary masterpiece, Waiting for Godot, in what turned out to be a much feted production, directed with flair and musicality by James McCaughey.
Now, nearly 70 years after Beckett first put pen to paper, William Henderson and John Jacobs are reprising these roles in a new production performed in the intimate and flexible Eleventh Hour Theatre, situated barely a kilometre from the former Pram Factory. Alongside Jacobs and Henderson, the production features two of Melbourne’s most seasoned performers, Richard Bligh & Tom Considine, and a bold new design by Julie Renton.
Waiting For Godot is the premiere production in Australia for Wits’ End, a new incarnation of the award winning, independent company, The Eleventh Hour. This company, co-directed by William Henderson and Anne Thompson ran from 2001 until 2013, winning numerous Green Room Awards and performing in major festivals in Melbourne, Adelaide and Northern Ireland.
William Henderson: “We’ re delighted to present a new vision of one of the great masterpieces of 20th century theatre, using Beckett’s revised text from his famous 1975 German production in Berlin, directed by the playwright himself”
In the intimate, Eleventh Hour theatre in the heart of Fitzroy, for three weeks only, a new ensemble, Wits’ End, presents Samuel Beckett’s indisputable masterpiece Waiting for Godot.
Monsieur Godot is expected; don’t be late for your appointment….