Imagine being forced to sit for almost two hours watching a play about the end of humanity with no no break, no music, no revelation and minimal movement. Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame makes what might seem tedious mesmerising as the players’ every gesture, word, and expression evoke a range of responses from the tragic to the ludicrous.
As a well known quote from the play, “nothing is funnier than unhappiness” Hugo Weaving is mesmerising. He is strapped into a chair and wears glasses that block out his sight. He is the one in control, or is he? He issues orders but he cannot move. The sparse stage setting and directions make Weaving’s smallest gesture highly visible and open to interpretation.
Clov (Tom Budge) is a very visual character with his hunched posture and clownish appearance. He can’t sit down but he performs amazing feats with the ladder used to see out the high windows. Bruce Spence and Sarah Pierse as Nagg and Nell, called upon occasionally from their oil drum hideaways are tantalisingly wonderful.
With a limited set and brilliant performances, STC’s production of Samuel Beckett’s absurdist masterpiece is not to be missed.
By Maire Sheehan