Waiting for Godot poster


Written by Samuel Beckett
Directed by Sean Mathias
Ian McKellen as Estragon
Patrick Stewart as Vladimir
UK Tour followed by West End run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
5 March - 9 August 2009

Theatre Royal Haymarket followed by a tour of Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa
Ian McKellen as Estragon
Roger Rees as Vladimir
Matthew Kelly as Pozzo
Troye Sivan as Boy
21 January - 14 August 2010

The Cort Theatre, Broadway
Ian McKellen as Estragon
Patrick Stewart as Vladimir
26 October 2013 - 30 March 2014

Words from Ian McKellen

Two old friends meet to converse, joke and argue with themselves as they wait through one day and then another for the mysterious Godot...the combination of music hall, poetry and tension redefined what is possible in theatre, so that today Waiting for Godot is accepted as one of the most significant plays of the 20th century.

When Samuel Beckett's play exploded on to the London stage 50 years ago, it shocked as many people as it delighted. There had never been a play like it; indeed it was said that: "Beckett has achieved a theoretical impossibility—a play in which nothing happens, that yet keeps audiences glued to their seats."

In a year rich with diverse drama Sean Mathias's 2009 production for the Theatre Royal Haymarket matched the success of the London premiere and proved one of the most successful plays of the season (indeed of any season) and broke all box office records for both the play and the theatre.

After a sold out national tour and an extended run in the West End, the Haymarket revived the production, again directed by Sean Mathias with Ian McKellen and Ronald Pickup returning to their memorable roles as Estragon and Lucky. The highly acclaimed and award-winning actors, Roger Rees and Matthew Kelly joined them as Vladimir and Pozzo.

Ian McKellen and Roger Rees are both renowned Shakespearean actors at Stratford-upon-Avon, in the West End and on Broadway. They first worked together in 1976 in Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. In 1978 they toured UK for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

of the 2010 production

"When Gogo says: 'We've no rights anymore? … We've lost our rights?,' you can feel the audience's ears prick up." — Brent Meersman, Journal of Beckett Studies

"In his droll, wry way McKellen's Estragon is funnier than last year, funnier even than his famous Widow Twankey" — Benedict Nightingale, The Times

"Masterly McKellen glitters in Waiting For Godot revival" — Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard

"As a double-act, McKellen and Rees excel in perfectly synchronizing Estragon's gloominess with Vladimir's optimism." — Chloe Preece, London Theatre Guide

Reviews of the 2009 production

The Times

"Performances that were at once subtle and commanding, touching and funny, vulnerable and dignified and just about everything we could expect Vladimir and Estragon to be." — Benedict Nightingale, The Times

The Independent

"The wonderful humanity of Stewart and McKellen ensures that you never think for one minute they are talking nonsense" — Michael Coveney, The Independent

The New York Times

"The opening moments of Sean Mathias's production of Samuel Beckett's benchmark 1953 play suggest that this will be a 'Godot' with a difference, and for two-and-a-half alternately crushing and beautiful hours, Mr. McKellen and his scarcely less distinguished colleague, Patrick Stewart, do not disappoint." — Matt Wolf, The New York Times

The Hollywood Reporter

"Thanks to the splendid performers, the audience leaves with a smile." — Ray Bennett, The Hollywood Reporter

Daily Mail

Verdict: Darlings, your tramps are wonderful — Quentin Letts, Daily Mail


McKellen is superb. He performs Estragon with a maudlin quiver in his voice and a note of comically pathetic vulnerability. — Warwick Thompson, Bloomberg

UK Tour

5-14 March 2009
Festival Theatre, Malvern

16-21 March 2009
Milton Keynes Theatre

23-28 March 2009
Brighton Theatre Royal

30 March - 4 April 2009
Bath Theatre Royal

6-11 April 2009
Norwich Theatre Royal

13-18 April 2009
King's Theatre Edinburgh

20-25 April 2009
Newcastle Theatre Royal

30 April - 9 August 2009
21 January - 4 April 2010
London Theatre Royal Haymarket

Australia and New Zealand:

6-23 May 2010: Melbourne, Comedy Theatre

28 May - 3 June 2010: Perth, His Majesty's Theatre

9-11 June 2010: Adelaide, Her Majesty's Theatre

15-27 June, 6-10 July 2010: Sydney, The Drama Theatre

30 June - 2 July 2010: Wellington, St. James Theatre

13-14 July 2010: Christchurch, Isaac Theatre Royal

29 July - 14 August 2010: Cape Town, Fugard Theatre

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