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Waiting for Godot returns to the Arts Theatre after more than 60 years

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SAMUEL Beckett’s existential masterpiece, Waiting For Godot, returns to the home of the original production – the Arts Theatre – after more than sixty years, running from September 5 to September 23, 2017.

Since the English-language premiere in 1955, directed by Peter Hall at the Arts Theatre, there have been innumerable incarnations of Beckett’s masterpiece.

Famously labelled ‘a play in which nothing happens, twice’ by Irish literary critic Vivian Mercier in 1956, audiences continue to debate social, political, philosophical and theological interpretations of the text which has been hailed by many as one of the most important yet enigmatic plays ever written.

Two tramps, Didi and Gogo, wait on a country road by a tree for a man named Godot. They don’t know what he looks like or when they were supposed to meet. They don’t know what they asked him for or what he will do when he gets there. All they know is that when Godot arrives they will be saved. If he doesn’t arrive they have to come back tomorrow and wait again.

So begins and ends Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece. Arguably the greatest play of the 20th century. Didi and Gogo pass the time by playing games, arguing and questioning why they are waiting. Pozzo, a landowner arrives with his slave Lucky who he is bringing to the fair to sell. They pass the time. Pozzo and Lucky leave. A boy arrives and tells them Godot won’t come today but surely tomorrow. They wait…

AC Productions’ Waiting for Godot has thrilled and entertained audiences since 2005 . Patrick O’Donnell and Paul Kealyn reprise their roles of Gogo and Pozzo in the absurdist and captivating drama, with Nick Devlin taking on the role of Didi and Conor Donelan as Lucky. The show is directed by Peter Reid whose recent work includes adaptations of Moliere’s The Misanthrope and The School for Wives.

Reid, having directed all of Beckett’s major works, said: “Waiting for Godot revolutionised the fabric of theatre and I’m delighted to be bringing the greatest show of the 20th century back to its birthplace at the Arts Theatre.”

In celebration of the homecoming, all tickets for preview performances and a limited number of tickets each day will be available for £19.55. To book, call the box office on 020 7836 8463 or visit artstheatrewestend.co.uk/.

Also at the Arts Theatre: Judy!, Ray Rackham’s extraordinary biographical musical based on the life of Judy Garland (May 16 to June 17) and The Toxic Avenger The Musical (September 28 to December 3, 2017).