As previously tipped (See The Goss, 19 Sep 2006), Sir Peter Hall’s 50th anniversary production of Samuel Beckett’s modern masterpiece Waiting for Godot will at last make its way into the West End, albeit a year late. It opens for a limited seven-week season at the New Ambassadors on 9 October 2006 (previews from 3 October).

The final production in Hall’s Bath repertory season last summer, the director had originally hoped to bring it then into the West End’s Arts Theatre, where he directed the English-language world premiere in 1955 when he was the theatre’s 25-year-old artistic director. However, a clash over that proposed transfer led to a very public spat between Hall and directors at the Barbican Centre and Dublin’s Gate Theatre, who jointly held the London rights for their Beckett centenary festival earlier this year (See News, 17 Mar 2006).

In Waiting for Godot, two tramps, Vladimir and Estragon, are waiting on a deserted road. As they pass the time, they ask the question: “Will Mr Godot ever come?”. In the National Theatre’s NT2000 poll, theatre professionals voted Waiting for Godot the most significant English language play of the 20th century.

This month, Hall has revived the production at Bath, Oxford and Richmond, where it finishes on 30 September 2006 (See News, 20 Jul 2006). The production features James Laurenson and Alan Dobie (who also appeared in Hall’s 1998 West End staging of the play at the Piccadilly) as Vladimir and Estragon, with Richard Dormer as Lucky and Terence Rigby as Pozzo, all four of whom starred last year and who will accompany the transfer.

Waiting for Godot is designed by Kevin Rigdon, with lighting by Peter Mumford, sound by Gregory Clarke and costumes by Trish Rigdon. It’s presented by Theatre Royal Bath Productions.

- by Terri Paddock