October 10th, 2012
Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play, Waiting for Godot, premiered in Paris in 1953, at the Théâtre de Babylone, under the direction of French actor, Roger Blin. Many other directors staged the play in the years to come, each time interpreting it in their own way. All the while, Beckett complained that the play was being subjected to “endless misunderstanding.” However, when an actor, Peter Woodthrope, once asked him to explain what Godot is all about, Beckett answered quixotically: “It’s all symbiosis, Peter; it’s symbiosis.” Thanks for the clarification, Sam.
Beckett never gave a clear explanation. But perhaps he offered up something better. In 1985, Beckett directed three of his plays — Waiting for Godot, Krapp’s Last Tape and Endgame — as part of a production called “Beckett Directs Beckett.” The plays performed by the San Quentin Players toured Europe and Asia with much fanfare, and with Beckett exerting directorial control. Act 1 of Waiting for Godot appears above; Act 2 below. And do keep this in mind. Beckett paces things slowly. So you won’t hear your first sound until the 2:00 mark.
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by Dan Colman