Review - Waiting for Godot: good work by QUT students
Waiting for Godot
By Samuel Beckett
Directed by Peter Zazzali
Presented by the QUT Final Year Acting Students
Kelvin Grove Brisbane
Season has ended,
As a society we have become instantaneous. We are able to access everything and anything with the swipe of a finger or a tap of a button. Many of us, I suppose, have become intolerably impatient. I would even go to say that being in a place with nothing to do would be hell on earth for a lot of people in this day and age.
In fact, going by Beckett’s timeless classic, Waiting for Godot, I would say that waiting around in a place that has little to no stimulation was and still is the very definition of Purgatory. Waiting for Godot is an interesting and profound piece. Rife with themes that are subject to different interpretations such as Christian, Existentialist and Political matters, it explores the mind of the ordinary human in their quest to live through each day as they come.
This production, performed by the final year acting students of QUT, did a fair job of pulling off this difficult play with wit and charm that endeared the characters to the audience and demonstrated the flexibility of the chosen leads. Having seen most of them in another production earlier in the year, it was interesting to see that each of the leads were able to tackle such a different style of theatre as Theatre of the Absurd.
The plot of Waiting for Godot follows the lamentable stories of Estragon (Gogo) and Vladimir (Didi) and their efforts in waiting for a man named Godot. Along the way, they meet the ever-cheery Pozzo and his lackey, Lucky, who help them pass the time for a while. The entire play is full of clever little quips, funny instances and stirring, even jaw-dropping, blocks of dialogue that provoke thought.
Whilst Beckett is not really forthcoming with many pieces of information regarding the characters, he does let slip some tit-bits here and there that help to shape the characters and give them form without giving too much away. This play can fill you with delight at times or a feeling of excruciating anticipation as you sympathise with the characters in wondering if Godot is ever really going to come.
This production was well fleshed and well thought out. Performing under the direction of Peter Zazzali, the five actors: Hugo Köhne, Tom Yaxley, Liam Soden, Thomas Filer and Michael Spicer each seemed to have a good grasp of their characters and the Absurd style. They performed oftentimes difficult dialogue with ease and comprehension and moved through the space with a good energy that ran consistently throughout the production.
The space at The Loft itself is intimate yet vast at the same time which really lent well to the atmosphere of the piece. The constant, faint, drone that played throughout the piece was subtle and really seemed to add to the ominous presence of Godot pervading each scene. I also quite enjoyed the set with the iconic tree that the actors interacted with at times. It was well designed and evoked the image of the barren, desolate setting Gogo and Didi find themselves in.
To sum up, Waiting for Godot as performed by the QUT final year acting students is a charming production that was well done for what it was. It demonstrated that the actors had a versatile skill and were able to grasp the Theatre of the Absurd well and tell the story of Gogo and Didi and their tale in waiting for Godot.