Waiting for Beckett

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a FUNNY, poetic and tragic masterpiece contemplating humanity and friendship, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot is performed by an all-black cast at West Yorkshire Playhouse next month.

Premiering at the playhouse’s Courtyard theatre, before embarking on a national tour, this co-production between the playhouse and Talawa Theatre Company is the last to be directed by Ian Brown as artistic director.

Jeffery Kissoon and Patrick Robinson take the roles of Vladmir and Estragon – the two men waiting hopelessly, helplessly, haplessly for the elusive Godot – with Fisayo Akinda, Guy Burgess and Cornell S John completing the ensemble.

Vladimir and Estragon are waiting. Two old men whose compulsion to wait for a visit from the indescribable Godot forces them to pass the time in the only way they can – with and for each other.

Stories are told, boots are abandoned, religion is debated, memories of better days are shared, jokes are made, suicide is contemplated, the fear of being alone is overwhelming – and time passes.

Chance meetings happen, arguments take place, thinking occurs, violence is advocated, hats are exchanged, friendship is venerated – and time passes.

On a road with a single tree, two old friends wait...and pass the time.

Waiting for Godot was first performed in the UK in 1955 and remains one of his most famous and important works. Its true meaning is constantly debated and searched for, yet Beckett – who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969 – was clear in his belief that all you need to know is there in the play.

Trinidadian stage actor Jeffery Kissoon (Vladimir) works regularly with the RSC and will play Caesar in its all-black production of Julius Caesar this summer.

Patrick Robinson (Estragon) comes direct from the West End production of War Horse and he has previously appeared at the playhouse in the lead of Simon Schama’s 18th century slavery drama Rough Crossing. He also has extensive TV credits, after first finding fame on BBC1’s Casualty.

Waiting for Godot is at West Yorkshire Playhouse from Friday February 3 to Saturday February 25, tickets cost £17 to £27, available from www.wyp.org.uk or the box office on 0113 213 7700.