Toronto Irish Players at the Irish Canadian Center
“This TIP production of Beckett’s signature piece is a real treat. The acting is accomplished, and to hear the play done in the language for which it seems to have been meant is a rare pleasure. The cast have managed to mine the humor Beckett intended for the play, which is often bled out of more sombre productions.”
Directed by JM
SM: Pat Dowling
Set & Lighting Design: Hatem Habashi
Joyce, that great overachiever, wanted to be able to smell the actors in a theater, and here, in waiting for Godot, that desire has been obliged by that great underachiever, Samuel Beckett. Atlas! Son of Jupiter! Shared, perhaps inherited, is a trouble-making talent, and, with Yeats, Wilde, O'Casey, and Behan, a lively penchant for epiphany and epigram – all cat and calculus to chart the marks of history's cruel lashings. What is the weather in Europe? The Celt reports twilight. But it is Beckett, that patron saint of ex-patriots, scoutmaster to all the lost sons, at home with the homeless, who has created in Godot what must be the 20th Century's most seminal drama of exile, and not least the funniest – a banana peel of a play, most serious when most slippery.
Perverse and profound in its humors, like all great plays this one speaks to its own time and ours, saying what it has to say with the only words possible with which to say it, saying what it is about with what it is about – which is the poet's only prerogative.
Inimitable, if much imitated, not the least of the mystery here is the tyro play writing skill. And what an impossible play! Impossible to forget it was conceived in the ravaged aftermath of the most destructive war ever endured by the citizens of Europe; just as it's impossible to believe it was not originally intended for the cadence of the Irish voice, or the character of the Irish player. For surely, despite homage to the patter and slapstick of American screen comics, this is one of the great Irish plays, steeped to its rhetorical root with all the rueful wit of the survivor – clever and contrary, melancholy and bawdy, savage and wise – a panegyric to the impossible universe we share. Nothing to be done. Enjoy it.