31 October 2008
Today's announcement is hardly news, in that diligent theatre followers need only have Googled my name and Patrick Stewart's to see the rumours already confirmed—that we are both to appear onstage in a new production of Waiting for Godot. This site has stayed true to the embargo and is happy to coincide with the official announcement. My word is: "I am in work again. And I couldn't be happier".
When the National Theatre of Great Britain announced in its close-of-millenium 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.
Since then, I've seen the play a few more times and never quite enjoyed it as much as I've relished reading it. What is the urgency for yet another revival of the play? Well, it's the actors' fault. Not that in our case the cast had the idea—that was Sean Mathias, thinking up an opening production for his tenure at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London where he is the new artistic director. But Sean knows me and Patrick Stewart well enough that we could be tempted with carrots and there are no more juicy parts amongst modern classics than Didi and Gogo—Vladimir and Estragon to you—the tramps who wait for Godot.
It's a shame that neither Patrick (from Yorkshire) and I (from Lanacashire) won't be seen in our home counties: nor can I promise there will be a post-London tour to rectify matters. Nor will we be transferring to Broadway who have their own imminent production Waiting for Godot with Bill Irwin and Nathan Lane directed by Anthony Page whom I last worked with, ironically, in Cowardice, written by the young Sean Mathias. There are months to go before rehearsals start and the tour begins. I'll be blogging on this site. In the meantime, choose your date and book your tickets.