Waiting for Godot continues the season of Beckett on Film, Channel 4's unique collaboration with Irish state broadcaster RTE to bring the complete stage works of Samuel Beckett, one of the 20th century's giants of world theatre, to the stage.
Beckett's best known play, Waiting for Godot is a finely wrought tragicomedy exploring the battle between the futility of life and the fundamental human desire to survive.
Two men in a timeless setting are engaged in a perpetual, pointless entertainment that parodies the human condition. Beckett's characters are often in pairs tied together by need, like master and slave or husband and wife. The entity of Godot can be seen as any form of transcendental meaning or purpose to life and it is significant that this entity is never
Vladimir (Barry McGovern) and Estragon (Johnny Murphy) are entertained as they wait by Pozzo (Alan Stanford) and Lucky (Stephen Brennan) and storytelling becomes a means of passing time. Uncertainty is clearly the only certainty and the banal, everyday language in their exchanges takes on a universal significance. Beckett once said 'All that matters is the laugh and the tear' and it is these extreme manifestations of emotion that he uses to portray the human condition.
Waiting for Godot is directed by New York native Michael Lindsay-Hogg whose film credits as director include: Let it Be; Two of Us; Alone; Frankie Starlight; Running Mates; The Object of Beauty and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, amongst many others.
He says of the production: "Godot is written with great rigour and definition. Beckett creates an amazing blend of comedy, high wit and an almost unbearable poignancy in a funny yet heartbreaking image of man's fate. With the camera, you can pick those moments and emphasise them making Beckett's rare and extraordinary words all the more intimate."