Godot, the musical

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/21/vladimir-and-estragon.html

1 Like

Yeah, but the wait for tickets…


I’m still waiting…


Cease and Desist from the incredibly litigious and controlling Beckett estate in 3… 2… 1…

Seriously, they recently tried to stop a theatre company from casting female actors in Waiting for Godot; they actively prevent set designers from making choices other than exactly what’s described in the script. I don’t expect they’ll be fully OK with this adaptation.


I, for one, fully hope that this is true. Gadz…waiting for Master G to come rap. Yeesh!!

This seems odd. What about Robin Williams and Steve Martin in Godot? Did they play the roles exactly as written? That was a pretty high profile show. I doubt the Beckett estate was unaware of it.

Then presumably they did play the roles as written, at least within the parameters that the Beckett estate cares about.


Wait for it…


That’s why it’s odd, to me. Traditionally, it’s the words, the cast’s dialogue (and monologues) which are sacred in theatre, the staging not nearly as much. But, by all reports the two spoke rather freely.

The production is free to add stage directions where none are supplied. Did they actually depart from the script? Or did they just have unconventional business to go with a verbatim performance of the text?

If any directions are supplied in any Beckett play, they must be followed to the letter. Even unto the gender of the actors (though this may be changing - the Beckett estate successfully shut down a 1998 Scottish production over female actors, but failed when they tried to do the same to an Italian production. After a Dutch company did an all-female production in 1988, Beckett refused to allow any productions of any of his plays in the entire Netherlands. This was overturned, by a court, not the Beckett estate, in 1991.)

When the play is by a less famously controlling playwright with a less famously controlling estate, all kinds of liberties often can be taken - with stage directions, casting, script, the key of songs, the order of scenes, everything.

I’m very much looking forward to Beckett’s works coming into public domain - when that happens, there will be a backlog of creative ideas that were held off pending the end of the copyright, so it should be a good couple of years for productions of his plays. Until then I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to see any of his plays.

1 Like

Well, after glancing over a couple articles, I stand corrected. The actors did respect the actual dialogue, there was simply a lot of goofy shtick in between the words, and in the delivery thereof, but the words themselves weren’t changed. I mis-recalled.

As for being free to modify the plays in production, in theory I’m in sympathy, but after having seen some of the absolute shite in the Beckett on Film collection, I have doubts.* Of course, much of the problems there were with film directors trying too hard to make the works less “stagy” and less spare. Maybe, stage directors would make wiser choices.

*And, yes, I realize that the Beckett Estate must have approved everything.


Sam Beckett is … Beckett (a Quinn-Martin Production) … with Andre the Giant as Little Bim:


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.