by Samuel Beckett, Stratford Festival
Globe and Mail
Samuel Beckett’s ambiguous post-war examination of the human condition, Waiting for Godot, emerges with a powerful combination of a gentle humour and devastating sadness under the hand of 30-year-old British director Leon Rubin.
The tenderness [Bedford and Atienza] display is the play’s most memorable quality. They speak as one person in some of the short exchanges, as though they are continuing one thought.
For 30 years now, people have been asking themselves the meaning of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, the acknowledged masterpiece of existentialist drama.
Well, at the Stratford festival last night, they gave us an answer, and it seems to me as convincing as any.
… director Leon Rubin seems intent on making this Godot an evening of vaudeville. Beckett himself enjoyed a life-long affection for the pratfall comedy of Laurel and Hardy, so Rubin has not gone too far afield.
In doing so, he has made good dramatic sense out of what is largely a two-hour, two-man dialogue, its succession of mini-dramas sectioned off and smartly shaped.
Conversations have the rapid, then lax flow of natural speed. The characters seem, inexplicably, to play to all the sections of the theatre in the three-quarter round.
It’s hard to imagine anyone, anywhere, having more fun with the gloominess of the universe.