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Who dares clown around with Waiting for Godot? | Samuel Beckett

Unfortunately, Dr. Ken Bray will have to wait until 2059, when the copyright on Waiting for Godot ends, before he can see a circus version (Letters, February 4). Beckett’s estate places strict restrictions on all productions, stating that they must follow Samuel Beckett’s script and staging instructions to the letter, including the fact that the roles can only be played by men. However, several theater companies have creatively taken the play as inspiration and even gone beyond the restrictions, such as Little Soldier Productions’ Nothing Happens (Twice), which includes clown, slapstick and flamenco costumes, by two exuberantly Spanish women, Patrícia Rodríguez and Mercè Ribot.
Sara-Jane Watkinson

Dr Ken Bray evidently missed the Manchester Royal Exchange production of Waiting for Godot in 1980, when the great Max Wall provided panache to the circus tricks he craves.

The moment he rolled his bowler hat from end to end on his back was mesmerizing. And it’s time to put an end to that old rumor that the play needs to be animated. It’s a comedy!
Brendan Mulcahy

Five years ago, Cheltenham’s Everyman Theater staged a production of Waiting for Godot with the sublime cast of Tweedy, the much-loved Gloucestershire clown (of Giffords Circus and Everyman’s annual pantomime fame) as Tarragon, and his fellow clown Jeremy Stockwell. in the role of Vladimir. It was the funniest production of that play I’ve ever seen in my life (I’ve seen a few in my life). The casting and antics worked wonderfully.
Judas Emmett
Stone House, Gloucestershire

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