Waiting for Godot – a title that has become proverbial throughout the world. Probably no other 20th-century play holds such universal appeal. It is fair to state that, on the night when his “tragicomedy in two acts” premiered, Samuel Beckett completely changed not just dramatic literature, but the theatrical condition itself. On a road, by a tree, two down-and-out wights, seemingly out of a vaudeville routine or a silent film, amuse themselves with games and pranks, cry, laugh, and discuss everything: a pair of boots, the Gospels, suicide… They are waiting for someone who is not coming, who never comes: Godot, the mystery-character Beckett always refused to identify as God, being more interested in highlighting what happens while we wait than in what we are waiting for. A leading figure of the international theatrical scene and president of the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe, Romanian-Hungarian stage director Gábor Tompa led several actors from the Teatro Nacional São João’s almost resident cast in this production, which brought to a close, on 7 March, the TNSJ’s Centenary Programme. Back then, the performance only took place online; now, after a long wait, we will finally see Didi and Gogo’s puerile and clownish survival games, performed with the accuracy of a music score.
by Samuel Beckett directed by Gábor Tompa translated by Francisco Luís Parreira
set design and costumes Andrei Both lighting design Filipe Pinheiro direction assistance Manuel Tur
cast João Melo, Maria Leite, Mário Santos, Rodrigo Santos, Vicente Melo
produced by Teatro Nacional São João
opening 7Mar2021 Teatro Nacional São João playing time 2:20 with intermission Ages 14 and up
12 Dec Portuguese Sign Language + Post-show talk with Luis Mestre