I had the pleasure of attending Talawa Theatre Company’s incredible production of ‘Waiting for Godot’ the other night at The Albany theatre.
The Albany I have to say is one of the best local theatres I’ve ever been to. Their programming is immaculate, and with a particular section dedicated to spoken word, I can’t help but think they’ve beaten the crowd to highlighting and producing the next big thing trend in theatre.
Sipping on a Red Stripe, I took my seat by the tree (are you sure it was this tree?) and patiently waited for the performance. Although Godot never showed, the performance was well worth the wait.
As soon as I heard Jeffrey Kissoon utter that famous line… ‘Nuttink to be dun’, I felt Patrick Stewart’s over-prosed performance just slip away. The power of performing the play with a West Indian dialect not only enhanced the absurdist comedic moments, but provided an even more harrowing experience in relation to the thematic concerns of slavery within the piece.I had genuinely forgotten that Beckett was Irish/French/English/etc… it was made for that dialect.
Lucky’s monologue moved me to tears – the power of those words were performed with precision and deep consideration by Guy Burgess, without a shadow of pretence, there was nowhere to hide from the sheer explosion of expression.
Simple staging, simple lighting, brilliant and honest acting, silly slapstick & sweet directorial decisions (such as the hat swapping) meant that it was one of my most memorable theatre experiences. The theatre world has still not quite wrapped its head around Godot, but Talwa are certainly helping us get there.