Waiting for Godot opens the Lyceum's 2015/16 season
Brian Cox and Bill Paterson take on Beckett's iconic duo, directed by Mark Thomson
If 50 really is the new 40, then life surely begins for Edinburgh's prestigious Royal Lyceum Theatre, celebrating its theatre company's half century in grand style with two of Scotland's best loved actors teaming up to bring back Samuel Beckett's celebrated tragi-comedy Waiting for Godot. Lyceum company founding member Brian Cox and Bill Paterson will be donning the white pan stick to play Vladimir and Estragon, the hapless, cipher-like down-and-outs whose philosophical meanderings are as sharply relevant today as when Beckett first brought them to the stage over 60 years ago.
Outgoing Artistic Director Mark Thomson believes that the play's enduring appeal lies in the timeless complexities and enigmas of Beckett's text. He says: 'The play never becomes outdated because it never belonged to any place and time. Its ideas, playfulness and bleakness have been around since ''the dawn of'' and will hang around as long as we're here. I don't think Godot or Beckett was part of any 'Theatre of the Absurd'. I'm not so arrogant or stupid to reduce a marvellously funny, dark and complex slice of theatre art by presuming to know its secrets.'
Thomson adds: 'But there's an overwhelming sense that we're watching something which has its teeth buried deep in truth. Bill and Brian will find their Didi and Gogo through rehearsals and both they and the audience will find out the meaning of the play, here, now, maybe on any given night when they do it. They are extraordinary people as well as actors and this is what makes the prospect exciting, because they are these real people – just as Johnny Bett's Pozzo and Benny Young's Lucky are.'
He continues: 'It just happens to be that the poor buggers find themselves on Beckett's road, day to day, waiting for this guy called Godot. Wonder if he'll come.'
Waiting for Godot opens at Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 18 Sep–Sat 10 Oct.