Luc Bondy, En Attendant Godot

Review in Issue 12-3 | Autumn 2000

Meltdown provided British audiences with their first opportunity to witness Luc Bondy’s production of Beckett’s influential work. Bondy is best known in the UK for his work in Edinburgh’s International Festival. In 1999 his production of Verdi’s opera Macbeth was warmly received, not least for its visual flair. Beckett’s stage directions, however, are notoriously precise, and his estate strict in their enforcement, leaving a director little space for the kind of invention that usually accompanies such prestige productions. So it was that Bondy’s En Attendant Godot was a largely straightforward realisation of the text, although none the poorer for that.

If anything, Bondy seemed intent on making the play more naturalistic than one normally considers it. Vladimir and Estragon were very much tramps, distinguished as much by their tics, rambling and pallor, as by their garb. Few traces of the clownish tramps of silent cinema, so loved by Beckett, remain. In this production Vladimir and Estragon are recognisable to anyone walking the streets of post care-in-the-community Britain. This enhanced the show’s bleakness but at the cost of its absurd humour.

Maybe it was for this reason that, whilst never less than good, and often illuminating, the production remained curiously uninvolving.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-3
p. 24