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Drama The New Stage

Waiting for Godot

Samuel Beckett, stage director Michal Dočekal

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Translation: Patrik Ouředník
Stage director: Michal Dočekal
Sets: David Marek
Costumes: Hana Fischerová
Dramaturgy: Lenka Kolihová Havlíková

The two-Act play about a never-ending, dreary waiting for someone who might just possibly bring a sense of meaning to human life has been interpreted in countless, frequently contradictory manners. The main characters, the old tramps and clowns Vladimir and Estragon, sit beneath a tree and wait for somebody called Godot whose arrival is, however, delayed day after day. Their dialogues, based on repetition of seemingly incoherent fragments of sentences or clichés, do not say anything specific about the two men. Instead of protagonists, the heroes become spectators of a kind of play within a play, which is a stylised vision of oppression and violence as age-old bonds of human society. The big-mouthed tyrant Pozzo goes blind in this play, his prattling slave Lucky, crushed under the weight of burdens and whiplashes, protests in vain and is eventually struck dumb. The reaction to this spectacle, which does not offer any way out, is a harsh, partially pantomimic game of the two central characters. Eventually, they flirt with the possibility of committing suicide, yet waiting on for redemption is much simpler. Beckett’s most celebrated play, first performed in 1953, was a watershed in the development of modern theatre.

Photo: Bohdan Holomíček

Duration of the performance: 2 hours and 50 minutes, 1 intermission

“The dramatic performances of David Matásek (Estragon) and David Prachař (Vladimir) in Beckett’s Waiting for Godot are the trumps of the first premiere of the National Theatre Drama at the New Stage, to which its productions have returned after almost twenty years. The play by the master of modern drama in Patrik Ouředník’s lively Czech translation is directed by Michal Dočekal.” Marie Reslová, Hospodářské noviny

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