Samuel Beckett

Waiting for Godot

Performance of the National Theatre, Prague

Main stage

David Matásek
David Prachař
Ondřej Pavelka
Jan Kačer
Vojtěch Lavička, Vlastimil Kaňka

directed by
Michal Dočekal
Patrik Ouředník
set design
David Marek
costume design
Hana Fischerová
Lenka Kolihová Havlíková

Date of the opening: April 13, 2013
Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes with one intermission

The performance on the National Theatre's site

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.