La Mama: Waiting for Godot

La Mama is celebrating the 103rd Birthday of the great Irish writer, dramatist and poet, Samuel Beckett. Born in Dublin in 1906, Beckett's Waiting for Godot offers a bleak outlook on human culture and is considered to be one of the first postmodernists and key writers in the group of playwrights known as "Theatre of the Absurd."
La Mama: Waiting for Godot
La Mama:Waiting for Godot "Samuel Beckett has achieved a theoretical impossibility—a play in which nothing happens, that yet keeps audiences glued to their seats. What's more, since the second act is a subtly different reprise of the first, he has written a play in which nothing happens, twice." (Irish Times, 18 February 1956, p. 6.) La Mama is celebrating the 103rd Birthday of the great Irish writer, dramatist and poet, Samuel Beckett. Born in Dublin in 1906, Beckett's Waiting for Godot offers a bleak outlook on human culture and is considered to be one of the first postmodernists and key writers in the group of playwrights known as "Theatre of the Absurd." Although I had seen Krapp’s Last Tape performed by John Flaus at La Mama several years ago, I didn’t fully realise at the time the existentialist and absurdist nature of Beckett’s work. Watching his most famous play, Waiting for Godot for the first time, has not only brought this to my attention, but has made me realise what a brilliant writer and difficult taskmaster Beckett was. Written between 1948/9, Waiting for Godot is a play in which nothing happens, yet keeps audiences glued to their seats. Not only is it a very funny play if performed with the correct timing, but it is a very challenging play to sit through for the following reasons: it is long (this production runs for almost three hours but there have been longer), it is a timeless classic which has been directed many times and so has a lot to live up to, and it is top heavy on words so one has to pay strict attention the whole time. But in saying that, if you are a serious theatre goer, then it is one of those plays that HAS to be seen, at least once in your life. I am glad that I did, and you will be too. If you are a Beckett lover then you will be overjoyed with the current La Mama season. Not only is Waiting for Godot being performed at La Mama Theatre, but at the Carlton Courthouse until April 25 you can see Beckett’s Shorts, consisting of Breathe, Not I, That Time, Rockaby and A Piece of Monologue. There is also a play reading titled Godot the Wait is Over – a homage to Samuel Beckett on Sunday May 10. Do yourself a favour—go and challenge yourself and see the brilliance and absurdity of Samuel Beckett. La Mama:Waiting for Godot La Mama Theatre: April 15 – May 3 Written by: Samuel Beckett Directed By Laurence Strangio Performed By John Flaus, Robin Cuming, Peter Finlay, Alex Pinder, Phelix Strangio Tickets $25/12

Melynda von Derksen

Friday 17 April, 2009

About the author

Melynda is a Melbourne based freelance photographer, arts manager and fashion stylist who enjoys creating her own projects and reinventing herself on a continual basis. Graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1996 where she majored in technical production in theatre, she has worked as a lighting designer, stage manager and theatre all rounder for many of Melbourne's best known creative companies. Eager to expand on her professional career, in 2004 she undertook a post graduate degree in arts management at the University of Melbourne. Since then she has worked in the area of arts administration and has used her skills to coordinate many successful cabaret events around town. As well as being part of the La Mama family for almost a decade, she continues to stick her finger in every type of creative pie that life has to offer. She is currently researching and writing a photographic book based on the history of the Melbourne Punk scene (1977 - onwards), which she hopes will be published in the next few years.