Monday, November 03, 2008

Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart to Boldly Godot

Damn I wish I could see this! One of my favorite plays and two of my favorite actors.

Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart to boldly Godot

Ian McKellen in The Cut and Patrick Stewart in A Life in the Theatre

Ian McKellen in The Cut and Patrick Stewart in A Life in the Theatre. Photograph: Tristram Kenton

Rumours have been circulating on the internet for some time, but it has been confirmed today that Godot will be turning up in British theatres next year, courtesy of Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart.

The two venerable stage actors, still most widely know for their film and TV work - separately, and together in the X-Men films - will be taking a new production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot on a short regional tour in the new year, before opening for a longer run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London's West End.

During their initial discussions with director Sean Mathias, McKellen and Stewart toyed with the idea of sharing the two lead roles, swapping characters on alternate nights. But it has now been settled that McKellen will play Estragon, the earthier half of existentialism's odd couple, while Stewart will play the dreamier of Beckett's famous tramps, Vladimir.

McKellen said: "When the National Theatre of Great Britain announced in its close-of-millennium poll that Waiting for Godot was the most significant English language play of the 20th century I agreed. After all, I was one of the voters. I first saw it when I was a student 50 years ago and the play was on tour through Manchester after it's tumultuous West End run, baffling, infuriating and astounding by turns."

The dates for the production are:

March 5-14 2009 Malvern Theatres
March 16-21 Milton Keynes
March 23-28 Brighton Theatre Royal
March 30-April 4 Bath Theatre Royal
April 6-11 Norwich Theatre Royal
April 13-18 Edinburgh Kings Theatre
April 20-25 Newcastle Theatre Royal
From 30 April (currently booking until June) Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London

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