Beginning Samuel Beckett’s association with the Theatre of the Absurd, which influenced later playwrights such as Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard, Black Swan presents Endgame at the Heath Ledger Theatre until 11 June 2017.
Four characters locked up in a refuge. Is it the end? Much is at stake. The relationship between Hamm, the blind and cantankerous master unable to stand, and Clov, his long suffering servant son who cannot sit, is beginning to strain. Nagg and Nell, Hamm’s decrepit parents living in garbage cans, are not helping matters. They too seem stuck between light and dark, life and death. Ruminating on past deeds and actions that, at their core, are meaningless.
This tragicomedy reveals the constant duel between tyranny and submission and the need and desire to break free of the cycle. Confusion reigns – is it the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning? As the chess game reference implies, Endgame is about how or why one bothers to move at all, when all moves lead to death.
Director of numerous landmark Western Australian productions including Bran Nue Dae, Corrugation Road, Merry-Go-Round in the Sea and Tourmaline, Black Swan’s Founding Artistic Director, Andrew Ross, returns to direct this engaging piece of theatre.
“Endgame is more like a piece of minimalist chamber music than a play. A composition that requires the very best players,” says Ross. “That is why I am extremely pleased to work with the four most esteemed actors that I could imagine, Geoff Kelso, Kelton Pell, Caroline McKenzie and George Shevtsov. They have all worked together over decades and are attuned to each other’s rhythms like a fine string quartet.”
Samuel Beckett is an Irish novelist, playwright and poet – who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. His first published work was an essay on his friend, and renowned Irish novelist, James Joyce. Beckett went on to write his famous trilogy of novels Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnameable, and his first and most celebrated play, Waiting for Godot.
This play began Beckett’s association with Theatre of the Absurd, which influenced later playwrights such as Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard. His most well-known subsequent plays include Endgame and Happy Days with his work characterised by a tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.
Director: Andrew Ross Featuring: Geoff Kelso, Caroline McKenzie, Kelton Pell, and George Shevtsov Lighting Designer: Mark Howett Set & Costume Designer: Tyler Hill Assistant Director (Secondment): Gabrielle Metcalf
Heath Ledger Theatre – State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, William Street, Perth
Season continues to 11 June 2017
Information and Bookings: www.bsstc.com.au
Image: Geoff Kelso as Hamm – photo by Robert Frith