Theatre review: Waiting For Godot @ Sheffield’s Crucible
March 14, 2016
Waiting for Godot is Samuel Becket’s modern masterpiece, famously known as a play where nothing happens and where the characters; Estragon and Vladimir, are stuck in stasis waiting for Godot to appear. They seem to find the will to go on another day and conquer boredom through their witty repertoire.
The plain backdrop and props of a singular tree and rocks create an atmosphere of monotony but it also makes for a clean and imaginative performance. The rotary moon and subtle lighting add to the feeling of time passing, slowly making the Sheffield Crucible production all the more intimate. It’s clear why Estragon and Vladimir can never tell if they are in the same location as they were previously.
The performances by Jeff Rawle as Estragon and Lorcan Cranitch as Vladimir show the jovial companionship the two have, especially when Vladimir is all for helping Estragon and is the more caring of the two. He offers ‘Go Go’ as Estragon is known, a carrot when he is hungry and his coat to keep away the chill when he is asleep. Their companionship is tested when they are joined by two others; Pozzo the flamboyant attention seeker played by Richard Cordery and the bound and broken human pet, Lucky, played by Bob Goody. Pozzo and Lucky become Vladimir and Estragon’s entertainment to help pass the time while they wait for Godot.
Of all the performances we see on stage, the most striking piece was that of the quiet and subdued Lucky. Lucky having no line in the play other than his repetitive soliloquy when told to ‘Think’, goes on to astonish the men but when he begins to repeat fragmented sentences like a broken record the men hold their heads in pain.
Waiting for Godot has been voted the most significant play in the twentieth century in a national theatre survey. Jeff Rawle and Richard Cordery give seemingly effortless performance. An extra appeal to the Sheffield audience is the sense of familiarity as Jeff Rawle has a history with Sheffield stage productions.
This clean cut modern performance of ‘Waiting for Godot’ is brilliant. Definitely one to watch and wait with…