Emily White ’16 / Emertaiment Monthly Staff Writer
The Gare St. Lazare Players’ production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is here at ArtsEmerson, but this review came straight from its premiere in Dublin, Ireland at the Gaiety Theatre. This Ireland-based troupe is particularly known for it’s interpretations of Samuel Beckett, and it shows — Waiting for Godot is preformed exactly as it was meant to be performed.
The relatively bare set, designed by Ferdia Murphy, fits perfectly with the minimalistic and existentialist themes of the play, and a mirrored moon on the wall and floor perfectly accent the show’s cyclical nature. The barren tree is just as it is described in the script, and the characters’ minimal interaction with the set adds to the feeling of emptiness and lack of definition in their days. This lack of focus on the set allows the actors to focus on the text and voices of the play, which is the most central aspect of the show.
The questioning and folksy timbre of the Irish accent actually adds a great deal to the presentation of the text. Estragon (Gary Lydon) and Vladimir (Conor Lovett) sound so much more desperate and endearing all at once which allows them to be so much more relatable as characters to the audience. They were so invested in their characters that during the production Lovett shushed an audience member’s cell phone after lulling Lydon to sleep. A repetitive and open-ended show like Waiting for Godot has the potential to have difficulty reaching audiences, but the earnest nature of Lydon and Lovett’s performances make Beckett’s existential messages hit home. Although brief, the appearances of Pozzo (Gavan O’Herlihy) and Lucky (Tadgh Murphy) are laugh-out-loud and show-stopping highlights of the show.
A faithful yet innovative interpretation of Waiting for Godot, this is a show not to be missed. Fans of Beckett will not be disappointed by the loving and intricate presentation of the text. Those who are unfamiliar to the work will be instantly drawn in, as the production adds an illumination to the text that could never be grasped by the reading of the play.
Catch the Gare St. Lazare Players’ Waiting for Godot at the Paramount Center Mainstage at Emerson, now through November 10.
Boston Production: https://artsemerson.org/Online/default.asp?BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::permalink=godot
Gare St. Lazare Players Official Website: http://garestlazareireland.com