Sunday, March 30, 2008

Literary event

Samuel Beckett's "Endgame" Directed by Michael Bolinski
On reccomendation from Bryant Scott.

Bryant, thanks for the reccomendation, it was definately a play worth seeing. However, I think better than sex is a bit of a stretch. Although it did last alot longer and I didn't feel guilty leaving right after it was done.

"Endgame" is without a doubt an interesting play. The main characters are an immobile, blind, miserable old man, and his half-witted, and resentful servant/companion. They have a twisted relationship based on control, fear, and dependancy on one another. If Bryant didn't inform us that this was post WWII, I would've thought they were a couple of survivors of some catastrophic nuclear event. The play is pretty ambigous concerning background information. If you've ever witnessed a pitifully unhealthy relationship in which helpless people, void of any kind of emotional, social, or interpersonal skills waste away their days in shared misery than you have an idea of what these guys are like. They are somewhat aware of themselves as the sources of their own grief, but are unable or unwilling to change. The blind man's parents live with them, and are confined to these huge garbage cans in the living room. The blind guy gets off on ordering his friend around, and rationing out food portions to everyone in the house. He is a seriously sick guy. They are all just waiting for death to finally swallow them up, bringing an end to thier pain and suffering. The two main characters spend amuse themselves with trivialities, and routine, but they also make an effort to ask questions like, "Who are we? Why is the world the way it is? Why doesn't God help us? and When will this all end?" The plot fails to ever really take off, but with characters like these, that is probably appropriate. One of my favorite parts is the memories shared by the mother in the garbage can. There is alot of symbloism in her speeches about the past, and love. On a couple of occasions she cries "Yesterday" and with that one word you can feel how heart-broken she is over losing the life she once had. You can feel how happy she once was, and how far she has fallen. With one word she tells a story about who she once was. The actress really did a wonderful job. This is not a date play. It isn't an action lover's play. And it isn't a play for the faint of heart. But as I said before, it is a play worth seeing.


woodstl said...

I have read it before and believe me it is dull as far as readings go. But then again, I never saw the play, so who knows maybe seeing a garbage can is better than reading about it.

I much more enjoy the ongoing nonchalant comparison to sex. Funny.

Prof. L said...

Reading a Beckett play is rarely much fun. The plays really come alive on the stage, though. You may find this to be equally true of our play, "Blackbird." We'll see.

I saw "Happy Days" in Brooklyn earlier this semester. The play is virtually a monologue: the speaker is initially buried up to her waist, yet manages to remain cheerful. In act 2, she's buried up to her chin--and her bright demeanor cracks, a little. Sounds rough, I know, but it was mesmerizing!